Final phase of former Norwich and Norfolk hospital conversion given go-ahead

Developers expect 10 years of work to convert Norwich's iconic former hospital into flats to be completed by summer 2013.

Norwich City Council has given the go-ahead for the final phase of construction at the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, in St Stephens Road.

This will include 33 apartments being created in the dilapidated Ivory block, which is situated next to the main hospital site. Demolition, refurbishment and extension work is expected to take place during the building's transformation.

Andy Fuller, managing director of Charles Church Anglia and Persimmon Homes Anglia, said: 'We started demolition in 2003, hope to have it finished by 2013 and so it's taken 10 years from start to finish. This development has always had phenomenal demand and it breaks the trend of the housing market. We could sell these apartments ten-fold. We don't need to advertise the site – we already have a database of people wanting them. We would love to have another 10 acres to continue the project.'

Mr Fuller said the company was hoping to award a contract for the building works within the next month. It is expected construction will start in two months and the properties will go on sale at the end of summer. The current timetable proposes the project will be finished in mid-2013.

The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital opened in 1772, with around 100 beds. Its architect was Thomas Ivory. And plans for the Ivory block were initially submitted by Charles Church Anglia in October 2010, but permission has only now been granted. The city council says the delay was partly caused by the need to draw up a legal agreement to ensure the developer pays for play equipment in the area. This has been signed and is thought to be valued at between �8,000 and �10,000, although the company and city council were unable to confirm the exact figure.

Residents in the nearby St Stephens Square and St Stephens Road also expressed concerns about the potential impact of vibrations and noise from the site on their houses during construction.

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They noted they had endured problems while the first phase of work was completed.

Mr Fuller said the forthcoming demolition work would be based further away from neighbouring properties compared to the first phase. The city council has also attempted to lessen the impact by imposing conditions on the developer before work can take place, including a landscape assessment.

Planning documents state the Ivory block will include one studio apartment, 24 one-bedroom flats and eight two-bedroom flats.The whole site of the former hospital was granted permission for 510 residential units.

Do you know of a major new development being planned for Norwich? Call reporter Richard Wheeler on 01603 772474 or email

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