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Homes, offices and shops could be built on site of Archant’s Prospect House

Archant Prospect House building on Rouen Road.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Prospect House building on Rouen Road. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

Homes, offices and shops are mooted for the site of the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News’s Prospect House headquarters if it is demolished, according to a blueprint for future development.

An illustrative view of what the development could look like from Farmers Avenue. Pic: Norwich City Council.An illustrative view of what the development could look like from Farmers Avenue. Pic: Norwich City Council.

Archant, publisher of this newspaper, signalled in September last year, that it was looking to move out of its headquarters in Rouen Road, Norwich.

And Norwich City Council has worked up a development brief for what the future could hold for the 2.5 acre city centre site.

Assuming the existing Prospect House building, opened in 1970, is demolished, the council wants to see the site used for offices, housing and retail.

They say the existing offices should be replaced with “purpose built, flexible and attractive high quality office space, ideally in a prominent location such as the Golden Ball Street frontage or the junction of Ber Street and Thorn Lane”.

An illustrative view of what the development could look like from Rouen Road. Pic: Norwich City Council.An illustrative view of what the development could look like from Rouen Road. Pic: Norwich City Council.

Council officers say they would welcome homes, with a mixture of private housing and affordable homes. They are keen to see one-bedroom flats, while two-bedroom houses would also be welcomed.

They say retail could be part of the mix, so long as it is “well connected” to existing shops, such as in Ber Street.

The city council wants to see new pedestrian routes. One would be via 10 to 14 Ber Street, a stretch of land owned by the council, where it is looking to build its own development.

City Hall also says the Bernard Meadows sculpture, which adorns the entrance of Prospect House, should be reinstated within the scheme.

Architect’s impressions of how the Prospect House site could look if redeveloped. Photo: Norwich City CouncilArchitect’s impressions of how the Prospect House site could look if redeveloped. Photo: Norwich City Council

The development brief document will be submitted to the city council’s planning committee for approval in October, following public consultation.

If approved, then it will be used to guide any planning applications lodged for the site.

Archant finance director Brian McCarthy said he supported the council’s approach.

He said: “Prospect House occupies an important, prestigious location in the city and the council’s consultation process will ensure all interested parties in the city’s development can have their say on the proposed usage of the site.”

People can have their say on the development brief, by Friday, August 3, by filling in a survey at www.norwich.gov.uk/prospecthouse.

Exhibitions will also be on show in City Hall and the reception of Prospect House between Friday, June 29 and Monday, July 16.

A member of staff will also be available at City Hall on July 5 between 2pm and 5pm and July 13 between 10am and 1pm to answer questions.

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