Spate of bids for student flats in Norwich city centre spark concerns
- Credit: Archant
Concern has been raised that the sudden surge in bids to build student flats in Norwich is happening without a proper strategy to see if they are needed.
The past couple of years have seen a spate of developments and applications to build student flats and apartments in the heart of the city centre.
That has been welcomed by many, including the Norwich Business Improvement District, for bringing economic benefits and adding to the vibrancy of the heart of Norwich.
But it has emerged Norwich City Council has no up to date assessment of the city's need for student accommodation.
And that prompted concern that a strategy is essential to help control the 'piecemeal' applications being lodged.
Last week saw the first time a large scale development of student flats has been turned down. A proposal for 285 flats at a car park next to former Aviva offices Sentinel House, in Surrey Street, was rejected by City Hall's planning committee.
And, during the debate, officers said they did not have an up to date assessment of the need for student accommodation in the city, although they said work was under way to draw one up.
- 1 Sweet Briar Road has now reopened
- 2 Norwich pub selling out on Sundays with new head chef's roast dinners
- 3 New Tesco store opens in city centre
- 4 Norwich pub to host street party with Caribbean BBQ, DJs and stalls
- 5 Chaos at major airports sees demand for Norwich flights increase 400pc
- 6 EXCLUSIVE: US tycoons in Norwich City investment talks
- 7 Revealed: Your favourite fish and chip shop in Norfolk
- 8 M&S to close 32 stores as part of move away from town centres
- 9 Wakey wakey! Church bells pose dilemma to swanky flats plan
- 10 Parents 'terrified' after THIRD run-in with cars driving on pavement
Green Party councillors said it was needed as soon as possible.
Green councillor Simeon Jackson, who represents Mancroft, said: 'With the University of East Anglia and Norwich University of the Arts planning to expand, there will clearly be a need for more student accommodation in the future.
'At the moment, applications are coming forward piecemeal, with no overall vision for what Norwich actually wants and needs.
'To avoid unplanned development putting pressure on transport and other services, we need a strategy setting out how the city's student population will be housed for many years to come.
'We need to decide how much accommodation is needed, what kind, and where.'
Mike Stonard, Labour's cabinet member with responsibility for planning, said the council worked closely with both the city's universities.
He said: 'Work to develop the approach for managing this type of accommodation is ongoing and takes into account the universities' future plans, as well as other residential requirements across Norwich.'