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Plans to turn former nightclub into flats set to get green light

PUBLISHED: 14:10 24 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:10 24 December 2019

Plans to turn the former Mercy Nightclub into homes, offices and a coffee shop are tipped for approval. Pictures: Archant/ Photo: SMG Architects/Estateducation

Plans to turn the former Mercy Nightclub into homes, offices and a coffee shop are tipped for approval. Pictures: Archant/ Photo: SMG Architects/Estateducation

Archant

Plans to convert a former city nightclub into dozens of homes is poised to get planning permission in the new year.

An illustration of what the plans for the former Mercy nightclub, on Prince of Wales Road, could look like. Photo: SMG Architects/EstateducationAn illustration of what the plans for the former Mercy nightclub, on Prince of Wales Road, could look like. Photo: SMG Architects/Estateducation

A vision for the former Mercy nightclub on Prince of Wales Road was unveiled by Estateeducate Ltd earlier this year - a plan which includes converting the building into 49 flats, adding two storeys and a new coffee shop.

It will spell the latest chapter for the prominent building, which was built in 1890 and for many years served the city as a cinema before being turned into a nightclub and bar.

More recently, it was run under the name Bished, after its former owner Ibish Peri, but it closed down in March and has been empty ever since.

Next month, councillors will decide whether to give the green light to the new, multi-use vision for the site, which sits between 82 and 88 Prince of Wales Road - with officers recommending that the scheme be approved.

An illustration of what the plans for the former Mercy nightclub, on Prince of Wales Road, could look like. Photo: SMG Architects/EstateducationAn illustration of what the plans for the former Mercy nightclub, on Prince of Wales Road, could look like. Photo: SMG Architects/Estateducation

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In a report to Norwich City Council's planning committee, case officer Robert Webb wrote: "The proposal would lead to the change of use of the site to a mixed use development which would be a significant improvement to the amenity of the neighbourhood compared to the exiting use, with its associated potential for noise and anti-social behaviour.

"It would also lead to the occupancy of a building and site which has been vacant for some time, to the benefit of the vitality and safety of the area."

Mr Webb added that he felt there would be "a notable improvement to the appearance of a locally listed building" should the plans get approval, and that the historic frontages of the building would be enhanced.

An illustration of what the plans for the former Mercy nightclub, on Prince of Wales Road, could look like. Photo: SMG Architects/EstateducationAn illustration of what the plans for the former Mercy nightclub, on Prince of Wales Road, could look like. Photo: SMG Architects/Estateducation

However, the proposal has seen some objection locally, including some reservation from the team behind The Feed, which runs a community café on Prince of Wales Road.

While the enterprise, which provides work experience for people facing homelessness, addiction and mental illness, supported the residential aspect of the application, some concern was raised that competition from the new coffee shop would hinder the work The Feed does.

The plans go before Norwich City Council's planning committee on Thursday, 
January 9.

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