Homes for almost 1,000 UEA students given green light

An artist's impression of the UEA development at the former Blackdale School site. Pic: LSI Architec

An artist's impression of the UEA development at the former Blackdale School site. Pic: LSI Architects. - Credit: LSI Architects

A multi-million pound development which would mean hundreds more students could live on the University of East Anglia's campus have been given the go-ahead.

City councillors today approved the UEA's proposals for four accommodation blocks at the former Blackdale School site, off Bluebell Road.

The development will include 915 bedrooms, as well as a café, launderette, office space, but no extra car parking.

The site is currently used as faculty teaching, and had been used by the university's school of law before it moved to Earlham Hall.

The university has 3,841 accommodation beds across three locations in the city, but says that, over the next four years, it is expecting a 6.7pc increase in its number of students.


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The accommodation blocks range from three to eight storeys high.

The plans led to one letter of objection to Norwich City Council, which raised concerns about additional traffic in Bluebell Road, but council officers said the development was intended to be car free.

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Civic watchdog the Norwich Society backed the scheme, saying the design would have 'minimal' impact on Bluebell Road.

Simeon Jackson, Green city councillor for Mancroft, said: 'I would like to commend the effort that has gone into this application. A lot of thought has gone into every aspect of it. I am genuinely very impressed with it.'

The council's planning committee unanimously granted permission.

A UEA spokeswoman said: 'We are delighted that planning consent for the re-development of the Blackdale site has been granted. We hope that the investment to provide aspirational student accommodation will further enhance our students' experience.

'UEA has grown considerably since it opened in 1963 both in size and reputation. Ranked in the top 1pc of universities in the world and consistently in the top mainstream English universities for student satisfaction, the university has the capacity and ambition to grow.

'New residential capacity is urgently required to support a measure of growth in student numbers, to relax restrictions on the number who are currently able to live in residences and thus to maintain the University's identity as a campus university.'

Trevor Price, Partner of LSI Architects, which has designed the scheme, said: 'The Blackdale project provides an attractive new residential quarter for the university which follows a pattern of development that relates to the original campus buildings and also to the local environment. It will achieve very high standards of sustainability, and we now look forward to the completion of the project.'

The development will be built in phases. The first phase, of 514 bedrooms will cost £29m, while the second phase has yet to be fully costed.

•Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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