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Museum campaign could fall on deaf ears as city homes plan is poised for approval

PUBLISHED: 16:07 09 March 2019

John Jarrold Printing Museum will be on the move if plans for 218 homes off Barrack Street are approved Pictures:SONYA BROWN

John Jarrold Printing Museum will be on the move if plans for 218 homes off Barrack Street are approved Pictures:SONYA BROWN

Archant

Plans to build more than 200 homes in Norwich city centre which will see a much-loved printing museum forced to relocate, have been recommended for approval.

Land off Barrack Street, Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYLand off Barrack Street, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Hill Residential Ltd is looking to redevelop a derelict site off Barrack Street in Norwich, in a project aiming to deliver 218 houses, apartments and commercial space.

However, it would also see the demolition of an annexe to St James Mill - currently home to the John Jarrold Print Museum.

Despite reassurances from the home-builders in November that a new home would be provided, a campaign calling for it to be left where it is was set up opposing to the development.

However, officers at Norwich City Council have been unmoved by the campaign and have recommended councillors give the scheme the go-ahead.

In her report to the committee, case officer Joy Brown said the development would improve this particular part of the city.

She said: “The current condition of the site is poor and development has the potential to significantly enhance the quality of the conservation area, the streetscene along Barrack Street and the views of the Riverside Walk.

“The overall design of the proposal responds to being both inside and outside of the city wall and the development will open up and enhance a number of important pedestrian links.”

Early plans for the scheme had proposed that artefacts from the museum be housed within a café in the development, however, the museum has since been promised its own dedicated space within the site.

One of the commercial units provided will be devoted to the museum, however, it stands to be considerably smaller than the existing site.

The report adds: “The proposal will provide a replacement printworks museum which, although much smaller in scale and a different form from the existing museum will ensure it has a sustained future, will have extended opening areas and will be more accessible.”

The application has received more than 250 objections from the public, almost exclusively relating to the downsizing of the museum. One objector even composed a poem dedicated to the museum.

Members of Norwich City Council’s planning committee will consider the application on Thursday, March 14.

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