‘Eyesore’ Norwich building could be pulled down to make way for homes

The boarded up city council neighbourhood office at Hansard Close. Picture: Denise Bradley

The boarded up city council neighbourhood office at Hansard Close. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

One of Norwich City Council's own buildings, branded an eyesore by people living nearby, is on the brink of being pulled down.

The neighbourhood office at Mile Cross, where people used to head to sort out housing issues and benefits, closed in May last year as part of a city council shake-up.

The windows of the office, in Hansard Close, were boarded up and a fence installed around the empty building.

The state of the building led to Richard Edwards, former Green county councillor for Mile Cross to brand it an eyesore last year.

The city council said then that it hoped to get housing on the site. It has now emerged that the council itself wants to knock down the office to build the latest in a wave of new council homes.

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Bert Bremner, the city council's portfolio holder for housing, said: 'The council plans to demolish the former neighbourhood housing office located in Hansard Close and to build eight new council homes.

'Designs are currently being prepared by NPS Norwich and we plan to discuss them with local residents shortly, prior to them being submitted for planning approval in the autumn.

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'The new homes will make the best use of the available space, providing four one bed flats and four two bed houses, as well as gardens and one car park space per property and will offer good quality, affordable accommodation built to modern standards.

'High environmental standards are being investigated including the option of Passivhaus.'

Mr Bremner added that, should planning permission be secured, work to build the homes could start early next year and be completed by autumn 2015.

The council has embarked on a programme to build new council homes and plans to deliver 250 homes by 2018.

The first new council houses to be built in more than two decades are being constructed in Pointer's Field in Catton Grove, with tenants due to move in this October.

• Are you fighting to get action on an eyesore where you live? Tell us about it by calling reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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