Buyer of eyesore Norwich site reveals intention to build 437 homes

Orbit Homes wants to build more than 400 homes at the derelict St Anne's Wharf site. Picture: Denise

Orbit Homes wants to build more than 400 homes at the derelict St Anne's Wharf site. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

More than 400 homes could be built on a derelict site in the heart of Norwich city centre within five years, the new owners of the land have announced.

The St Anne's Wharf site, between King Street and the River Wensum, has been derelict since 1999, but has been bought by Orbit Homes.

There was a concerted push to market the site last summer and Norwich-based Savills last month announced a deal was in the brink of being sealed.

Orbit Homes has now revealed it has snapped up the site, which was being sold after the company which previously owned it went into administration.

And the company says it is keen to breathe new life into the site, which had been granted planning permission for 437 apartments and 20,000 square feet of commercial space.

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While planning permission has expired, bosses at Orbit Homes say they hope to be able to build 437 homes on the site, including for affordable rent, shared ownership and outright sale. The housing provider already owns and manages over 5,400 homes across the region from its Thorpe Road base, but this development will see Orbit create its first homes to be made available for private rent.

Paul High, executive director of Orbit Homes, said: 'We have worked closely with Norwich City Council in the past and we look forward to continuing the partnership on this project.

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'Orbit already has a significant number of homes in the city and we're excited to get to work delivering these much needed homes for the area.

'Work is due to begin on the site in the summer of 2015, by which time we will have revealed more details of this exciting development.'

The company would not reveal what it paid for the site, but said the estimated gross development value of the site is in excess of £70m.

The listed building Howard House is part of the acquisition. Orbit homes said it would be 'speaking to partners to discuss options for the building'.

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