Hopes for UK’s greenest building to be built in Norwich are approved

NRP Enterprise Centre.

NRP Enterprise Centre. - Credit: Supplied

Plans to build the UK's greenest building in Norwich have been given the go-ahead.

Norwich City Council's planning committee this afternoon unanimously approved permission for the low-carbon Norwich Research Park (NRP) Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The project is redeveloping Earlham Hall and its surroundings for business research and educational uses. The 3,300sqm building will include a testing centre, energy centre, courtyard spaces and new pedestrian routes.

Timber from Thetford, wheat thatch from Starston and north Norfolk reed, chalk, lime and flint are all included to help reduce the building's carbon footprint.

As previously reported in the Evening News however, dog walkers and the owners of Earlham Park Cafe had been worried about the council handing over control of the 60 public parking spaces off University Drive.

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But Bert Bremner, Labour councillor for University ward, spoke at the meeting of the planning committee to allay those fears and encourage the committee to grant approval for the 'world class' scheme.

He explained that the UEA had agreed to increase the previous offer of 22 spaces being kept for park users to 35 and that there were plans to enforce the two-hour stay car park to ensure that staff and students were not using those spaces.

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The councillors asked that signage advertises the cafe in the car park, to help prevent any loss of trade, before unanimously granting the planning permission.

The UEA also received approval for a new six-storey student residence to be built in remaining space on the Bluebell Road side of campus.

The low-energy building will have 231 bedrooms, which are set to open to students in September 2014.

- For more information about the NRP Enterprise Centre, see the links at the top-right of this page.

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