Neighbours face further battle to stop bid for student flats on Norwich city centre car park

An image of how the development in the Sentinel House car park could look. Pic: Lanpro.

An image of how the development in the Sentinel House car park could look. Pic: Lanpro. - Credit: Lanpro

Neighbours who have been fighting to stop student flats being built near their homes are facing a fresh battle - after developers appealed against a second refusal for the scheme.

Last year, Norwich city councillors turned down plans for more than 280 student flats on the Sentinel House car park in Surrey Street, with people living in nearby Carlton Terrace fearing it would dwarf and overshadow their homes.

But the developers appealed and also lodged a revised bid for the site, which was once the car park for Aviva workers in Sentinel House.

The appeal was dismissed, although the inspector's reason was not because of the impact on people in Carlton Terrace.

He dismissed it because of the impact on people who will live in Sentinel House itself - which is being redeveloped as flats.

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He said it would cause 'significant harm' to the living conditions of those in Sentinel House and would 'include a number of units which would not have adequate living conditions for future residents'.

At the same time as the appeal process, a revised application for the site was lodged with Norwich City Council.

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That saw the number of flats in the development cut to 252 and reduced some of the heights, but, in June, city councillors turned that bid down too.

But Lanpro, the agents for the developers have appealed against the second refusal, while Norwich City Council understands a third scheme for the car park site could be lodged.

Rob McKenna, from the Carlton Residents Group, said: 'Carlton residents are very disappointed that the developers and their agent are appealing to the government's planning inspectorate for the second time, having already had the initial planning application rejected by the council's planning committee and the planning inspectorate.'

He said if the city's planning strategy was not addressed it would 'negatively alter the city landscape beyond recognition while in the process fracturing communities, limiting housing opportunities and the goodwill of Norwich City residents.'

Mr McKenna said residents were aware the land would be developed, but that it needed to be done in keeping with the council's own development blueprints and be a mix of shops, offices and housing.

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