Restoration of historic 17th century Norwich house to be ‘priority’

Howard House, King Street, which is part of the development of new apartments. Picture: DENISE BRADL

Howard House, King Street, which is part of the development of new apartments. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Work to restore one of Norwich's most significant historic buildings will have to be completed before people can move into hundreds of new homes nearby.

Developer Orbit Homes bought the St Anne's Wharf site, between King Street and the River Wensum, last November, after the site had stood derelict for years.

The company wants to build 437 homes on the site, which already has planning permission for homes.

But Grade II-listed Howard House was part of the deal. Developers have had to apply for planning permission and listed building consent for the 17th century property, which is on a register of buildings at risk.

At a meeting of Norwich City Council's planning committee yesterday, councillors agreed revisions to what is known as a section 106 agreement – clauses agreed with the previous developers before they went into administration.

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The agreement requires work on Howard House to be completed before anybody moves into the new homes.

David Bradford, Labour councillor for Crome ward, sought assurances from officers. He said: 'My fear is that Howard House will fall down before anything else happens. We have talked about Howard House for years and years.'

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City Hall officers assured Orbit had made a 'substantial investment' and archaeological work on the site would start in July. Planning officer Tracy Armitage said of Howard House: 'It's a very significant building, barely visible at the moment because of the scaffolding. It's a priority that work gets cracking on that building and gets it occupied.'

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

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