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Writers’ centre decision help up by administrative mix-up

10:49 04 April 2014

Norwich City Council has agreed to pool its share of a new

Norwich City Council has agreed to pool its share of a new 'tax' on development.

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A decision on a new £8.5m literary centre for Norwich has been deferred for the second time after an administrative mix-up.

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Norwich City Council’s planning committee were due to make a decision on the National Centre for Writing yesterday, after a decision in March was postponed by a website glitch meaning people could not comment on the plans.

But members were told yesterday that a map mix-up meant that the wrong houses were served with notice of the application, so that homes backing on to the site were not told.

The application, which had been recommended for approval, is expected to be considered at the committee’s next meeting on May 8.

The plans would see Gladstone House in St Giles Street converted into a centre for literary study, translation and performance, with a 120-seat auditorium in the grounds.

It has been backed by prominent authors, including Nobel laureate JM Coetzee, as a way to capitalise on Norwich’s status as a Unesco City of Literature.

However, objectors say the work proposed would damage the 18th-century building, and obscure its south facade, while heritage groups have also raised concerns at the adaptations.

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