Neighbours call for rethink over Norwich eyesore revamp

The former Eastern Electricity buildings in Duke Street in Norwich, which Targetfollow wants to turn

The former Eastern Electricity buildings in Duke Street in Norwich, which Targetfollow wants to turn into homes. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

Families living close to a city riverside site which is earmarked for new homes have urged Norwich City Council to fight for a more 'imaginative' approach to the redevelopment.

The former Eastern Electricity Board site at Duke's Wharf, off Duke Street, has stood empty, except for use as a car park, for 15 years.

But property investment and development company Targetfollow last month lodged plans with the city council.

The company is seeking planning permission for 155 homes on the 2.2-acre site. Their plan includes the former Eastern Electricity Board building converted into 69 converted apartments, including penthouse levels on top. Extra storeys would be added to that building.

But families living in nearby Anchor Quay, while keen to see the site back in use, have joined forces to write to the city council urging them that the proposals could be a missed opportunity.

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David Ball, on behalf of nine people who live in Anchor Quay, has written a submission to the city council, to express their concerns about what they say is an 'unimaginative' proposal.

He said: 'It would be reasonable to anticipate an impressive forward step to be taken with this site, given its uniqueness and proximity to the centre of Norwich and its riverside location.'

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He said the 'attempt to squeeze' 155 homes onto the site was 'excessive' and neighbours could suffer.

And he said the proposal should do more to connect with the river, such as creating an inlet from the river which could be used by barges or wherries or by providing a small number of floating homes.

Mr Bell acknowledged: 'Although it may no doubt be argued that our suggestions for a greener and more interesting plan would be costly or reduce profit and income, we would say that money is important, but not the only consideration. The environment and quality of life are important; the site is of special significance for Norwich and this deserves recognition.'

The application will come before members of the city council's planning committee at a future meeting.

• Would you be pleased to see development at the Duke's Wharf site? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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