Bid to convert office block into flats stopped by lack of light

De Vere House, on St Faith's Lane in Norwich

De Vere House, on St Faith's Lane in Norwich - Credit: Archant

A bid to convert a block of city centre offices into flats has hit a snag after being knocked back by the city council.

Plans were lodged earlier this year to use De Vere House, on St Faith's Lane in Norwich for residential use, more than a year after it was placed on the market for £1.7m.

Three separate applications were submitted to Norwich City Council for the site, for 32, 30 and three flats respectively, across the building's three floors.

However, planners at City Hall have used delegated powers to turn down all three of the proposals as it was judged some of the flats would not receive sufficient sunlight.

In her report refusing the plans, case officer Lara Emerson wrote: "The proposals would not provide adequate natural light in all habitable rooms of the dwelling houses."

Richard Divey, the council's public protection officer, raised concerns over how residential properties would sit alongside neighbouring Prince of Wales Road, where much of the city's late night entertainment was.

He did not, however, object to the proposals and offered recommendations of conditions that could be applied.

He said: "This property is in a situation with significant background noise arising from nearby uses.

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"Norwich City Council has therefore included measures designed to control noise in the planning permission for this property."

He added that should the developer return with alternative plans that they provide measures to protect potential occupants from noise pollution, such as acoustic glazing and ventilation.

Were the application to have been approved, it would have been the latest in a number of residential developments on the horizon for the Prince of Wales Road area, part of the city more associated with nightlife than homes.

In recent weeks, works began to convert the former Mercy nightclub into a housing-led development, while permission has also been granted to turn the former Alan Boswell offices, also on St Faith's Lane, into flats.

It is not yet known whether Nachmen Leifer, the applicant, will submit an alternative proposal.

Redwood Projects, the planning agent behind the scheme, has been approached for comment.