Apartments and row of shops planned for vacant unit

The former Collins Care building which Arnold Keys sold to a local developer. Pictured inset is Guy Gowing of Arnold Keys 

The former Collins Care building which Arnold Keys sold to a local developer. Pictured inset is Guy Gowing of Arnold Keys - Credit: Arnold Keys/Google Maps

A large empty building leading into Norwich's city centre looks set to be converted as part of a new business venture. 

The former Collins Care mobility equipment premises in Sprowston Road has been sold to a local developer by Norwich-based estate agent Arnold Keys. 

Guy Gowing, managing partner at Arnold Keys, said the local developer is looking to divide the shop into individual retail units and convert the upstairs space into apartments for letting. 

The developer has already secured planning permission to convert the building into four houses. 

Mr Gowing said: "We were the selling agents on behalf of a long-standing owner and we agreed to the sale to a local developer. The deal has all moved forward." 

Guy Gowing, managing partner at Norfolk-based property services firm Arnolds Keys

Guy Gowing, managing partner at Norfolk-based property services firm Arnolds Keys - Credit: Arnold Keys

The site consists of around 2,000 square ft of retail space.

Stephen Litten, of the Amari Group, is listed as the applicant for the change of use plans which have been submitted to Norwich City Council.

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A covering letter for the application states: "The proposed development seeks to retain the existing ground floor retail area and associated facilities with an internal access created to provide an internal refuse store and access to the first floor area.

"This will retain one office unit and create four residential units each with a lounge or living area, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen area. Unit one will also have access to an external terrace to the rear of the building."

The former Collins Care site in Sprowston Road 

The former Collins Care site in Sprowston Road - Credit: Google Maps

Collins Care was established in 1989 in Norwich and sold a range of mobility products to aid those with disabilities including stair lifts and mobility scooters before it closed a few years ago.

Among those who regularly visited Collins Care was Marcus Moore, 36, who has dyspraxia and long-term injuries from a bike accident when he was younger.

Mr Moore, who lives in Barkers Lane in Sprowston, said: "It was convenient and easy for me to get to. It is a loss combined with the mobility shop relocating from Anglia Square. 

Faulty streetlights along White Woman Lane in Sprowston has left regular newspaper contributer Marcu

Sprowston's Marcus Moore who has dyspraxia - Credit: Danielle Booden

"I have to shop online now instead." 

BeActive Mobility relocated from Anglia Square to larger premises in Barker Street - which is opposite Go Outdoors - two months ago.