Calls for a new Grade III classification which would see buildings repurposed rather than flattened could see significant Norwich structures saved.

The idea for the introduction was floated in an Architects' Journal article and has been backed by Grand Designs' Kevin McCloud.

The suggestion would cover structures not currently listed as Grade I, Grade II or Grade II*.

Norwich Evening News: Kevin McCloud has presented Grand Designs since 1999Kevin McCloud has presented Grand Designs since 1999 (Image: PA)

Norwich Castle, Cinema City, Surrey House - the Aviva headquarters - Norwich Arts Centre and both of Norwich's cathedrals are some of the city buildings that are Grade I-listed.

A Grade III classification could see Anglia Square repurposed rather than redeveloped.

Since 2008, Norwich's Local List - in consultation with Norwich City Council and Historic England and a steering committee of the Norwich Society - has celebrated and protected buildings and landmarks within the outer city ring road.

It is a record of buildings not officially 'listed' but are of local architectural or historical significance.

Norwich Evening News: Norwich Cathedral is Grade I-listedNorwich Cathedral is Grade I-listed (Image: Newsquest Archives)

While inclusion on the Local List does not afford the same protection as that given to a nationally listed building, it does ensure that 'material consideration' is given when demolition of re-development is proposed.

Rachel Kirk, co-ordinator of the Norwich Society, explained how a Grade III-listing isn't too far off the city-wide initiative.

"A Grade III-listing would be something English Hertiage would have to roll out, but our Local List would actually make a good place for them to start as a lot of work has been put into it already," she explained.

"They wouldn't have to start from scratch here.

Norwich Evening News: Zaks Mousehold Diner, Norwich is on the Local ListZaks Mousehold Diner, Norwich is on the Local List (Image: Archant)

"It's very interesting and something I'd be eager in seeing rolled out.

"This is very much on a similar wavelength. We're very interested in the future of the city and we don't want to freeze it. It's important that the city continues to develop.

"But the Local List or a Grade III listing would help influence future development rather than stopping it.

"This sort of thing will shape the city moving forward."

Structures on the Local List include Zaks Restaurant, Ketts Hill Bakery and Ketts Tavern, the Artichoke, in Magdalen Road, and the pumphouses, in Waterworks Road, - as well as various rows of Victorian terraces across the city.

Norwich Evening News: The Artichoke pub in Magdalen Road, NorwichThe Artichoke pub in Magdalen Road, Norwich (Image: Neil Didsbury)

Director of city firm Hudson Architects Anthony Hudson said that Grade III-listing could see buildings - like Anglia Square - reused rather than flattened to be redeveloped

He said: "When looking at an existing building there should be the presumption to look at how to reuse the building.

"It should be the first port of call. Can it be repurposed or reused?

"The energy embodied in building fresh is quite considerable.

"You need to look at the long-term lifecycle of a building and how would it compare to building anew.

Norwich Evening News: Anthony Hudson, director of Hudson Architects in Norwich Anthony Hudson, director of Hudson Architects in Norwich (Image: Hudson Architects)

"But you can't just say you have to repurpose a building, you have to be more scientific about it than that."

Hudson Architects designed the award-winning flagship building for NUA in Duke Street, replacing a disused 1970s student housing block and car park.

"We did look at the original building but it didn't lend itself to being repurposed," he explained.

"But the idea of introducing Grade III listing would make people think twice about flattening buildings.

Norwich Evening News: Norwich University of the Arts’ building in Duke Street Riverside was named Best Higher Education Building at the prestigious Architects’ Journal AwardsNorwich University of the Arts’ building in Duke Street Riverside was named Best Higher Education Building at the prestigious Architects’ Journal Awards (Image: Archant)

"It's too easy and has been for too long. 

"I've seen so many disappear that have had no listed protection and it's a tragedy that they've been lost.

"And often something not as good goes in its place.

"Grade III would be a formal way through legislation to stop these tragedies recurring.

"It would encourage upgrades and retrofits.

Norwich Evening News: Sovereign House, Anglia SquareSovereign House, Anglia Square (Image: Newsquest)

"It could ensure buildings like those at Anglia Square are repurposed rather than torn down.

"Sovereign House is a rather wonderful example of 60s brutalism, a distinctive building that should be reused.

"It's not en vogue or popular but there's a desire to keep and repurpose buildings like that.

"We're experienced in working on existing buildings in Norwich and they're a delight.

"You often find really surprising ways of doing things with spaces - which is why I would back this."