Decision due on Norwich’s £1.5m ‘greenest’ council homes

The boarded up Norwich City Council neighbourhood office in Mile Cross, which is set to make way for

The boarded up Norwich City Council neighbourhood office in Mile Cross, which is set to make way for green council homes. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

The most environmentally-friendly council homes ever built in Norwich could be constructed in Mile Cross, with a decision due on whether a £1.5m scheme can go-ahead.

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The proposed development would see Norwich City Council's former neighbourhood area housing office in Hansard Close knocked down and replaced with 10 flats.

Those flats – eight one-bedroom flats and two two-bedroom flats – would be the first council-owned homes built in Norwich to what is known as Passivhaus standard.

Passivhaus homes are built to the highest standards of energy efficiency and designed to use very little energy for heating and cooling.

Examples of Passivhaus features include extra thick insulation, triple glazed windows and doors, and heat provided through a mechanical vent heat recovery system.


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At a meeting of Norwich City Council's planning committee tomorrow, councillors will be asked to give the scheme, designed by Barron and Smith Architects, the go-ahead.

However, civic watchdog the Norwich Society was not impressed by the design.

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The society's response to the application was: 'This development is lacking in imagination with large expanses of unrelieved brickwork.

'The roof shape is not in sympathy with the surrounding properties. A more imaginative solution would be more fitting.'

But City Hall officers said the design had been revised following those comments to help 'break up' the block.

Planning officer Lee Cook said: 'The design and layout is considered acceptable with a good relationship between the public and private realms.'

The new homes, which will have car parking spaces and bike stores, will all be for social rent, let through the Norwich Home Options scheme.

The neighbourhood office at Mile Cross closed more than two years ago as part of a city council shake-up.

That led to claims that the boarded up building had become an eyesore.

Do you have a story about a local council? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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