Plans for 154 homes in Norwich riverside revamp approved

Artist impressions of the development planned for Duke's Wharf.Copyright: Innes Associates Ltd.

Artist impressions of the development planned for Duke's Wharf.Copyright: Innes Associates Ltd. - Credit: Submitted

Work to breathe new life into a city centre riverside site which has been empty for more than a decade will start next year - after plans for 154 homes to be created there in a £30m scheme were approved.

Artist impressions of the development planned for Duke's Wharf.Copyright: Innes Associates Ltd.

Artist impressions of the development planned for Duke's Wharf.Copyright: Innes Associates Ltd. - Credit: Submitted

The former Eastern Electricity Board site at Duke's Wharf, off Duke Street, has been vacant, except for use as a car park, since 1999.

Previous attempts to redevelop the neglected corner of the city, including a plan to create eco-friendly offices, failed to come to fruition.

But property investment and development company Targetfollow today gained permission which will give the site a new lease of life.

The company already had approval to create 69 homes on buildings fronting Duke Street and the River Wensum.

Artist impressions of the development planned for Duke's Wharf. Copyright: Innes Associates Ltd.

Artist impressions of the development planned for Duke's Wharf. Copyright: Innes Associates Ltd. - Credit: Submitted


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But today, members of Norwich City Council's planning committee granted permission for changes and demolition which will lead to 85 further homes bring provided on the 2.2-acre site.

The former Eastern Electricity Board building will be transformed into 69 converted apartments, including penthouse levels on top.

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There would also be five new four-bedroom townhouses facing the river, replacing the building which is currently covered in the words from Sir Thomas More's novel 'Utopia' courtesy of local artist Rory Macbeth.

Three blocks, containing 56 flats, are planned for the centre of the complex. The flats and apartments would be a mix of one, two and three bedrooms.

Artist impressions of the development planned for Duke's Wharf. Copyright: Innes Associates Ltd.

Artist impressions of the development planned for Duke's Wharf. Copyright: Innes Associates Ltd. - Credit: Submitted

The proposals also include three commercial units and a new underground car park, with space for 95 cars, including a car club space and charging points for electric cars.

Power for the development will come from an unusual source - reviving a commercial water source heat pump on the site, which was the UK's first when it was installed in 1945.

Colin Thoday, chief executive of Targetfollow, said: 'It will bring long empty properties into use and provide high quality homes and commercial uses in a key location.

'Funding is in place to invest £30m into the development of Duke's Wharf.

'It has taken considerable investment, determination and hard work to bring forward a viable development and we are convinced now is the time to deliver it for the benefit of Norwich.'

Some neighbours, while supportive of the principle of development, had raised concerns over the height of the development.

Officers said there was 'no doubt' the development would change the look of the site, but that the extra height was not considered to be harmful.

Work is due to start next year and is expected to take three years.

What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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