Concerns over impact on church sees Norwich flats bid blocked

St Peter Parmentergate Church.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

St Peter Parmentergate Church.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A bid to build four flats next to a city churchyard has been blocked, after concerns they would damage the historic setting of the 15th century church.

The building which would have been demolished to make way for the flats.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The building which would have been demolished to make way for the flats.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The Norwich Historic Churches Trust had objected to proposals for a building next to St Peter Parmentergate.

Applicants Stephen and Alexandra Ives-Keeler wanted to demolish a former car workshop next to the churchyard and to build a two-storey block of four flats.

Their plans, for 9, Normans Buildings, involved partly removing a churchyard wall and lowering the ground level in order to build the flats.

And Michael Wingate, from the Norwich Historic Churches Trust, yesterday told Norwich City Council's planning committee it would be a 'massive intrusion' into the 'quiet and secluded churchyard', with its Grade I listed church.

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He said: 'By digging deep into the ground, the effect is to puncture the churchyard wall. It is an over-development.'

David Jewell, agent for the developers, told the committee: 'We have been very aware of the surrounding environment and how the building might impact upon it.

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'The reason for lowering the building is to make it as subtle as possible and we believe we have created a building which is not intrusive into the environment.

He said the flats would be an improvement on the current building and would act as a 'counterpoint' to the church.

But committee members unanimously refused the scheme.

They rejected it because of the impact on heritage, the loss of a business unit and the lack of amenity for occupants of the proposed flats.

Caroline Ackroyd. Liberal Democrat councillor for Eaton, said: 'To have a two-storey, four flat development will have an impact on the tranquillity and heritage there.'

Denise Carlo, Green city councillor for Nelson ward, agreed: 'It's an over-development in my view and would have a severe impact on the setting of the Grade listed I church and the churchyard.'

St Peter Parmentergate, off King Street, became redundant in 1981, but subsequent uses have been for The Magdalene Group and for martial arts.

• What do you think of the decision? Write, giving full contact details, to: Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1 RE.

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