New life could be breathed into chapel at old Norfolk and Norwich hospital site

For patients at the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital it was a place to pray and seek comfort, but for years it has stood empty.

However, the old chapel at the former hospital site could be set for a new lease of life, after plans were lodged to make it available for community use.

The chapel, a listed building which dates back to 1879, has been boarded-up since the site of the city's hospital was developed for housing.

But Charles Church Anglia, a division of Persimmon Homes, which transformed the old hospital buildings into homes, has lodged redevelopment plans with Norwich City Council.

The company is seeking permission to refurbish the interior of the chapel so it can be used by the community, with toilets and a kitchenette put in the 19th century building.

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In documents lodged with the council in support of the proposals, Norwich-based architects Feilden + Mawson, agents for Charles Church Anglia, say the community spaces available will range from 'small meeting facilities' to 'larger group numbers within the refurbished chapel'.

With the chapel a listed building, English Heritage has been consulted over the proposed changes and have sent a letter to City Hall stating that they have no comments to make over the plan.

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Vicky Manthorpe, pictured, from the Norwich Society, welcomed the refurbishment plans. She said: 'Feilden + Mawson are conservation architects and I know they've been working on these plans for some time. It's nice to have something left from the old hospital and we are very glad to see an attempt to bring a building back into use.'

Alastair Reid, development co-ordinator for Charles Church Anglia, said: 'The Chapel was identified for community use from the outset of this redevelopment and refurbishment project, and was included in the original planning application for the site.

'Once completed, the Chapel resource will be handed over to the site management company, RMG, who will administer it as an important resource for the benefit of all residents of Fellowes Plain and the local community.

'At present we are looking for community groups who may want to make use of the facility. Groups can register their interest with Michelle Thomas at RMG on 0845 002 4444.'

Do you know of a scheme to breathe new life into one of Norwich's buildings? Call Norwich Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email

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