Neighbours win fight to stop 280 student flats being built next to their Norwich homes

An image of how the development in the Sentinel House car park would have looked. Pic: Lanpro.

An image of how the development in the Sentinel House car park would have looked. Pic: Lanpro. - Credit: Lanpro

Neighbours who battled to stop student flats being built near their homes are celebrating after a planning inspector dismissed an appeal over the scheme.

Green city councillor Martin Schmierer. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Green city councillor Martin Schmierer. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

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 the development would dwarf and overshadow their homes.

Rejecting the scheme, the council said the height and massing did not respect the area and the neighbours.

But developers appealed and lodged a revised bid for the site, which used to be the car park for Aviva workers in Sentinel House.

The revised bid cut the number of flats to 252 and reduced some of the heights, but was rejected by city councillors in June.

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And a planning inspector has dismissed the applicant's appeal against the original rejection - although not because of the impact on the people in Carlton Terrace.

Sentinel House itself is being redeveloped for housing. And inspector Philip Lewis feared the student housing development could cause 'significant harm' to the living conditions of those living in Sentinel House.

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He was also concerned the student accommodation would 'include a number of units which would not have adequate living conditions for future residents'.

Rob McKenna, from the Carlton Residents group said: 'We believe the decision vindicates the city planning committee's decision, and also the campaign undertaken by Carlton Residents and our partner supporting bodies.

'We now hope that the developers and their agent respect the democratic process and desist in putting forward anymore overdeveloped planning schemes.'

He added that the residents were aware the land would be developed, but said they hoped any new application would be in keeping with the council's own development blueprints and be a mix of shops, offices and housing.

Mancroft ward Green councillor, Martin Schmierer said: 'I'm very happy for the residents of Carlton Terrace who will not now suffer from losing light in their homes and being faced with a much poorer outlook than they have at the moment.

'I'm surprised that the inspector didn't accept these points as reasons to reject the appeal: they are very important to people who live here.'

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