Norwich developers reveal more about £25m project for up to 250 flats near Carrow Road

Carrow Quay artist's impression.

Carrow Quay artist's impression. - Credit: Supplied

Proposals for up to 250 apartments near Carrow Road in Norwich – estimated to cost £25m to develop – will use design techniques which aim to slash energy bills, according to developers.

Norwich City Council granted outline planning permission to transform a gravel car park on land to the north of Carrow Quay, off Geoffrey Watling Way, into housing last summer. Broadland Housing Association, which is seeking approval to amend the plan next week, briefed city councillors yesterday on the technology they want to use for the development.

Andrew Savage, executive director at Broadland Housing, said this was the Passivhaus concept developed in the 1980s, which seeks to minimise energy consumption by reducing heat loss to the point where a building hardly needs any heating. It is said heat sources include the sun, people living in the property and household appliances, while there is also extra insulation and the property seeks to be air tight.

Mr Savage said these design principles were to be followed as attempts to use other renewable technologies, such as solar panels and air source heat pumps, had produced varying results.

Councillors heard the Carrow project is the biggest of its kind proposed in the UK, with around the number of certified Passivhaus properties in Britain and Northern Ireland in the tens compared to the thousands in Europe.

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Mr Savage said four trial properties are being built in Fulmodeston, North Norfolk, and lessons were being learned from the project. He said it had taken three attempts to put the timber frame up whereas in Norwich it needed to go up in one go, while quality control checks would be rigorous to ensure Passivhaus standards are met.

He said: 'There will be 250 flats built using all the skills we've used from other developments in Norwich. We have maximised the communal areas, floor space, and we are getting as much, or as less, square meterage as we need. There's no excess in the build. We have to be sure every single flat is doing what it should be in that build – nothing costing more than it needs to be.'

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Green Party councillor Paul Neale questioned if Broadland would be the main contractor to ensure all of its standards were met or if their sub-contractors would be used. Mr Savage said Broadland aimed to contract work out but use partners with experience of Passivhaus. He added everyone connected to the project would be based on site.

Broadland Housing plans to submit to the council detailed designs of how the development will look by the end of the month. Documents have previously stated there could be 140 car parking spaces and office space.

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