Aviva objects to Norwich student flats scheme - claiming it would take away workers’ light

A view of the new flats, proposed for the former Mecca Bingo site. Pic: Alumno Developments.

A view of the new flats, proposed for the former Mecca Bingo site. Pic: Alumno Developments. - Credit: Alumno Developments

Bosses at Aviva say working conditions for more than 2,000 city centre staff will suffer if a 13-storey tower block next to their offices gets the go-ahead – because it would take away their sunlight.

The former Mecca Bingo site, with hoarding panels depicting the building's history around where the

The former Mecca Bingo site, with hoarding panels depicting the building's history around where the building has been demolished in All Saints Green. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014

The insurance company is urging Norwich City Council to turn down proposals for a 244-bedroom student accommodation on the former Mecca Bingo site in All Saints Green.

Aviva has enlisted consultants and surveyors to make its objection to City Hall over the 'overbearing' scheme, which would 'impact on sunlight and daylight and result in a loss of outlook' for its workers.

That, 'will have a negative impact on the working conditions for employees', according to representation submitted to the council by Aviva's planning consultants Porta Planning.

The company says the two sections of its city centre Island site – Antico and Russo – closest to Alumno Developments' proposed student scheme have 2,500 desks.


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Aviva, which has held meetings with the London-based developers over the issue, wants the city council to turn down the proposal, or to insist that the scheme's height be reduced to be no taller than its building.

However, the developer's own property consultants – GL Hearn – have written to the city council. lodging a riposte to Aviva's objections.

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Lucy Taggart, from GL Hearn, states: 'We consider that any alterations in the daylight and sunlight levels received to the windows on the eastern and southern elevations of Aviva Island Site would not adversely affect the working conditions as such to inhibit the occupants from undertaking their work in the usual manner'.

She has provided the city council with a photograph of Aviva's building taken earlier this month.

She said that showed 'many' pull-down blinds on the Aviva office wings, had been part-way or near-fully lowered.

She said that indicated 'reduced daylight and sunlight may be preferred by workers in order to maintain a controlled working environment'.

The site, opposite John Lewis, has been empty for two years, following the bingo hall's demolition.

A decision on whether to grant permission will be made at a future meeting of the city council's planning committee.

What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPletters@archant.co.uk

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