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Development at Norwich School could see historic gateway of cathedral precinct walls reopened

PUBLISHED: 09:03 18 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:00 18 June 2018

Aerial view of Norwich Cathedral. May 2018. Picture: Mike Page

Aerial view of Norwich Cathedral. May 2018. Picture: Mike Page

Copypright Mike Page, All Rights Reserved Before any use is made of this picture, including dispaly, publication, broadcast, syn

An historic gateway through the wall surrounding one of Norwich's most instantly recognisable landmarks could be reopened as part of plans to redevelop the city's oldest school.

Young Norfolk Arts Festival 2015, Pictured: Stefan Griffiths Young. Picture: Autumn LewisYoung Norfolk Arts Festival 2015, Pictured: Stefan Griffiths Young. Picture: Autumn Lewis

The Norwich School, which is located within the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, has unveiled plans to build a new canteen and extra classrooms on site.

However, part of the scheme could also see a change made 
to the precinct wall of the cathedral, with proposals to reopen a former gateway on Palace Street.

The change was proposed in a bid to limit the number of vehicles passing through the cathedral’s Erpingham Gate, which is currently used by vehicles delivering the school’s food.

The scheme was unveiled in a presentation to Norwich City Council’s planning committee, which was given a preview of the plans.

Rupert Kitchen, director of LSI Architects, who is working on the scheme, said the new gateway would be close to a lay-by, meaning deliveries could be made through the wall by foot, with vehicles stopping on Palace Street.

He said: “The new gate will be a throughway for pedestrian access only and would not be used as a front door entrance for the school.

“There is evidence of an existing opening in the wall which we have been in discussions to re-open, or, alternatively, to add a new one.”

Mr Kitchen said the school had been consulting both Historic England and Norwich City Council over its plans.

Steffan Griffiths, headmaster, said the school had outgrown its current dining facilities, 
with addition of pre-prep age children from September potentially taking its pupil numbers to more than 1,100.

He said: “The existing dining facility is designed for 600 children, so there is a desperate need to expand.

“The opportunity to also build 21st Century classrooms would also be wonderful.”

The plans would see a large canteen and kitchen built on the site, close to Bishop’s Palace.

It would also include a two-storey building providing six teaching spaces.

A public exhibition of the plans is to be held in the school’s refectory building on Thursday, July 12.

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