Appeal starts after flats bid on Norwich city centre car park is twice rejected

An image of how the development in the Sentinel House car park could look. Pic: Lanpro.

An image of how the development in the Sentinel House car park could look. Pic: Lanpro. - Credit: Lanpro

Neighbours who have twice seen a controversial student flats development rejected are facing a fresh battle, after an appeal against the original refusal started – and a second appeal could follow.

Last year, Norwich city councillors turned down plans for more than 280 student flats on a car park in Surrey Street, with people living in nearby Carlton Terrace fearing the development would dwarf and overshadow their homes.

The committee voted to turn down the flats because of height and massing not respecting the area and the neighbours.

But developers submitted a revised bid for the site, which used to be the car park for Aviva workers at Sentinel House, which is itself being converted into apartments.

The number of flats was cut to 252, while the heights of part of the proposed development were reduced, with applicant Osbourne's agent Lanpro saying the revised scheme had been prepared to address the reasons the plan was previously rejected.

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However, councillors voted by seven to six to refuse the second application on the grounds it would have detrimental impact on the existing residents of Carlton Terrace, due to lack of light and an overbearing relationship.

An appeal against the original refusal was lodged with the planning inspectorate before the second rejection and agents Lanpro have signalled to the planning inspector that the applicant is considering appealing the second refusal and has queried if they could be dealt with simultaneously.

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Rob McKenna, from the Carlton Residents group, said: 'The planning committee has heard both arguments for and against the planning application twice, and decided to reject the scheme at both hearings.'

On the appeals, he said: 'We feel it is disrespects the council planning process, and it feels very much like a bullying tactic, I am sure that if we had lost, they would have expected us to respect the council's decision.'

Jane Crichton, from agents Lanpro, said: 'The applicant has submitted an appeal to the planning inspectorate against the first refusal which is now pending consideration.

'Conjoining the appeals is an option open to them but at the moment they are considering all options regarding the second refusal.'

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