Garage and car showroom could make way for more than 140 student homes

PUBLISHED: 15:19 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:20 06 December 2019

A CGI image of the new student accommodation which could be built in Rouen Road, Norwich. Pic: Crosslane Student Developments

A CGI image of the new student accommodation which could be built in Rouen Road, Norwich. Pic: Crosslane Student Developments

Crosslane Student Developments

More than 140 new rooms for students could be built in Norwich city centre, but it would mean a car showroom and garage moving after more than 20 years.

The Richard Nash showroom in Rouen Road, Norwich. Pic: Dan GrimmerThe Richard Nash showroom in Rouen Road, Norwich. Pic: Dan Grimmer

Plans are being drawn up for a new student development at the current site of the Richard Nash showroom and garage in Normans Buildings, off Rouen Road.

Crosslane Student Developments wants to build a complex of 143 studio bedrooms, in a building which would range in height from four storeys to seven storeys.

The development would also include communal space, including a roof terrace, lounge, cinema, games area, gym and private dining and study spaces.

The new development would be run by Prime Student Living and would be car free, apart from a number of parking spaces for disabled students.

Crosslane Student Developments, based in Manchester, is aiming the development at postgraduate and mature students.

Norwich City Council recently produced new guidance on what levels of student accommodation would be acceptable.

The council estimates that there will be a need for 1,000 extra purpose built units by 2024 and almost 1,500 by 2029, although developers have said those estimates are too conservative.

The staff who currently work at the Richard Nash showroom and garage, which has been based in Rouen Road since 1998, would switch to the company's other sites in Norwich - at Vulcan Road South and Mousehold Lane. There would not be any job losses.

A public exhibition, seeking feedback on the scheme, was held at the showroom this week.

Lefteris Sallas, of Crosslane Student Developments, said: "Our proposals for an amenity-rich, car free scheme will provide students with a new product offering and go some way towards freeing up private houses of multiple occupation, which can be released back into the general housing stock.

"Over the coming weeks we will review the feedback and will continue to engage with local residents, councillors and community groups."

The developers hope to submit a planning application to Norwich City Council in February next year.

If permission is granted next summer, then the goal is to begin building work late next year, completed by summer 2022.

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