Former Norwich city centre Aviva offices could be turned into nearly 200 flats

Sentinel House, Norwich.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Sentinel House, Norwich. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A former Aviva office in the heart of Norwich city centre looks likely to be converted into almost 200 flats.

Developers want to turn the five-storey Sentinel House, between Surrey Street and Queens Road, into homes.

The building, which was built in 1990, was last used as offices for the insurance company in October 2015.

A group of London-based directors, who have set up Sentinel House Ltd to turn the building into homes got approval last month to turn the building into 228 residential units.

But they have now gone back to Norwich City Council, looking for the green light to reduce the number of flats and studio apartments to 199.

Because the proposal is to convert offices to residential use, it does not require planning permission from the council.

However, the council does have to be notified of the intention to convert the building, It will then determine whether the council needs to grant prior approval as to issues such as transport and highways impact, contamination risks and flooding risks.

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Given the council had previously approved the previous application, officers are unlikely to stand in the way of the revised bid.

The proposed development would consist of 98 studio/one bedroom flats, 97 two-bedroom flats and four four-bedroom flats.

Documents submitted to City Hall in support of the bid state: 'The site is in a very accessible and sustainable location, some five to 10 minute walk from Norwich city centre, with all its services and facilities, encouraging walking to and from the site.

'Alternative sustainable transport services are also located close by and, as such, would encourage the use of these over car ownership and use.'

Recent years have seen a number of schemes which have increased the number of people living in the city centre.

A project to turn former offices in Westlegate Tower into 19 homes saw one of the city's most unpopular landmarks given an award-winning new lease of life.

Alumno developments, which was behind a new building to house students next to Norwich bus station, is also due to create a 244-bed development on the site of the former Mecca Bingo site in All Saints Green.