Civic watchdog has ‘misgivings’ over plan for 230 student flats in Norwich city centre

An artist's impression of the proposed All Saints development in Norwich, which would house almost 2

An artist's impression of the proposed All Saints development in Norwich, which would house almost 230 students. Picture: Alumno Developments. - Credit: Submitted - Alumno Developments

Civic watchdogs have said they have 'misgivings' over proposals for flats which would see 230 students living in the heart of Norwich.

London-based Alumno Developments has lodged plans with Norwich City Council for the redevelopment of a site close to the city's bus station for a scheme it has branded as All Saints Norwich.

If approved, it would see a 228-bedroom student accommodation block of up to nine storeys built on the east side of the bus station site, between the YMCA and Queens Road.

But heritage group the Norwich Society has raised concerns over the scheme, questioning whether that sort of height is appropriate and whether the design is sympathetic enough to nearby Ivory House.

Victoria Manthorpe, administrator for the Norwich Society, said: 'We have misgivings about this scheme despite our initial support.

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'This is a very important site on the edge of the city centre and has long been ready for the right type of development.

'It requires buildings of high design quality to 'lift' the area and it must be sympathetic to Ivory House.

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'The building rises to seven to eight storeys similar to the adjacent hotel but is this necessary? Would four to five storeys be more appropriate?'

The developer, which carried out consultation earlier this year, says there is a need for student accommodation, with more than 19,000 students in higher education at the city's two universities – the University of East Anglia and the Norwich University of the Arts.

Both the UEA and NUA have given the scheme their support in letters accompanying the application to the city council.

The plans also seek permission to demolish numbers 52 and 54 All Saints Green, the refurbishment of Number 50 – a Grade II listed building – and the creation of a 'pocket park'.

The proposals are likely to come before members of Norwich City Council's planning committee later this year.

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