Former Norwich convent set to be turned into student flats

The former convent, which is set to be turned into student flats. Photo by Sophia France.

The former convent, which is set to be turned into student flats. Photo by Sophia France. - Credit: Archant

A former convent in the centre of Norwich is to be transformed into student flats, despite concern from neighbours that it would ruin their peace and tranquillity.

Dacre Property Holdings had lodged an application with Norwich City Council to convert Emmanuel House, close to the roundabout at the top of Grapes Hill, into 40 flats.

The building, in Convent Road, was built in 1969 as the Convent of the Little Sisters. Since 1989, it has been used as offices.

The city council's planning committee initially considered the application last month. At that meeting, councillors heard concerns from people living in nearby Unthank Road that the development would shatter their peace and tranquillity.

They said the introduction of 40 students would be 'highly intrusive and disturbing', especially late at night and in the early hours of the morning.

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Councillors decided to defer a decision so that further discussions could be held with the developers and the application was back before them at today's meeting,

The developers have now rejigged the proposals to provide a 'wedge of defensive landscaping' and said that somebody will be on site to manage the flats 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Officers had recommended approval for the plans. Planning officer James Bonner said: 'Bearing in mind the conclusion that this edge of city centre, mixed-use locale is an appropriate site for student accommodation, the additional information submitted strengthens the mitigation against potential noise and disturbance to neighbouring occupiers' living and working conditions.'

Members of the planning committee agreed to grant permission, but with a number of conditions attached.

• Are you battling against a planning application where you live? Tell us about it by calling reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email

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