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New designs to be unveiled for major £80m homes and jobs revamp for former shoe factory

PUBLISHED: 06:00 27 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:02 28 January 2019

St Mary's Works, off Duke Street in Norwich.
 Picture: ANTONY KELLY

St Mary's Works, off Duke Street in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

Developers behind the £80m revamp of a Norwich shoe factory are to unveil new designs for a scheme they say will create hundreds of new jobs.

Dominic Richards, in the former shoe factory. Pic: Archant Library.Dominic Richards, in the former shoe factory. Pic: Archant Library.

Public consultation is about to start over the fine-tuning of plans for the future of the former St Mary’s Works shoe factory.

Norwich City Council granted outline planning permission for the redevelopment of the former Sexton, Son and Everard factory, off Duke Street, 12 months ago.

The developers want to transform the former factory and nearby area to provide 151 homes, more than 46,000 square foot of office space, a hotel with a restaurant, a gallery, shops and 120 car parking spaces.

Development company Our Place said more than 350 jobs would be created.

A previous artist's impression of how the St Mary's Works site could look.  New designs are to be unveiled soon. Pic: Our Place.A previous artist's impression of how the St Mary's Works site could look. New designs are to be unveiled soon. Pic: Our Place.

And, with outline permission agreed, they have been working up new design proposals for the scheme.

A public consultation event has been organised so the developers can discuss their latest ideas and get feedback from the public about their proposals.

A spokesman for Our Place said: “We have listened to the feedback from when we got the outline planning permission and are proposing to develop new plans in light of various conversations with the public and the council.

“We want people to come along to the consultation and have a look at what we are proposing.

“We’d love as many people to come along as possible because we believe what we are trying to do is something very different for the city.”

Fliers about the event are being distributed to homes in the area.

When outline planning permission was granted last year, Dominic Richards, the man behind the scheme said it demonstrated, at a time when Unilever and Britvic were planning to shut their Norwich factories, that the city was worth investing in.

But the scheme had attracted criticism, because developers had argued hitting a target of 33pc of affordable homes meant it would not be viable.

Instead, they argued - and an independent valuer backed them up - that only four affordable homes, or a sum of £353,000 in lieu of them, would be acceptable for work to start.

The public consultation event will be held at St George’s Works, 51, Colegate, in Norwich from 4pm until 6pm on Friday, February 1.

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