Decision due over UEA’s new £65m Sky House
PUBLISHED: 11:17 09 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:18 09 March 2020
A decision is due on whether a new £65m teaching building at the University of East Anglia can go ahead.
Norwich City Council planning officers are recommending that City Hall's planning committee give the green light to the UEA's Sky House plans.
The main building would range in height from five to eight storeys and would be built on the main car park at the UEA, off University Drive.
University bosses say the Sky House would provide learning and teaching space for staff and students currently housed in the arts building.
They say it would also allow the refurbishment of the Grade II-listed Lasdun Wall.
The Lasdun Wall, completed in 1970, is listed by Historic England for its special architectural and historic interest, but is at the end of its design life and needs significant investment.
The new building would enable that building to be vacated so the necessary work can be done.
The Sky House would include teaching and seminar space, drama studios, rehearsal spaces, screening room and school offices.
If the development goes ahead, it will mean 243 fewer spaces on the main car park. The existing security lodge will be demolished and the road layout changed.
The UEA says the loss of car parking spaces in the main car park is in line with its travel plan, which it says has encouraged more environmentally-friendly options like walking, cycling and park and ride.
There have been two objections to the plans, including a claim that residential streets near the UEA have been turned into "student ghettos" and the university should focus on dealing with the ramifications of that.
But, in the report which will come before the planning committee, council officers are recommending approval.
They said: "The proposal would result in an appropriate form of development that would further enhance educational facilities at the University of East Anglia.
"The nature of the precise uses proposed would complement the surrounding area without giving rise to disturbance to properties within or beyond the campus boundary."
The Sky House is the working name for the building. If it does go ahead, it will be formally named at a later date.
The committee meets on Thursday, March 12.
UEA vice-chancellor Professor David Richardson said: "Investing in our UEA campus means investing in our people and the spaces they need to work, learn, study and teach both now and in the future. The Sky House will be the new gateway to UEA for visitors and provide collaborative and communal working spaces for our staff and students."