Decision to be made on adding two extra storeys for flats to city centre building

Westlegate, Norwich. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Westlegate, Norwich. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

The latest phase of a scheme that could see 69 new flats in the city centre is up for decision this week, with councillors recommended to approve the plans.

A company called Flagstaff 2 is looking to convert office space on the upper levels of the Boar's Head Yard and 1-17 Westlegate into 60 new apartments, with the remaining nine to be delivered through two additional storeys.

And it is the latter that goes before City Hall this week, with members of the city council's planning committee to decide on whether the new storeys can be built.

The plan will see office space that has been vacant for a number of years brought back into use, but will also result in the loss of one of the shops in the Westlegate parade.

The applicants have set out 9 Westlegate, a vacant unit next door to the Adnams Brewery shop, as the development's main entrance.

A council officer's report into the application says: 'While it is recognised that residential development would encourage footfall in the area and the overall development would bring long-term vacant office floor space back into use, officers have been keen to explore alternative layouts which would allow the retail unit to be retained.'

However, the applicants have said use of the unit was the only option available that would allow for disabled access to the homes on the upper floors.

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The officer adds: 'The proposed development presents a number of benefits, such as provision of new homes, refurbishment of a vacant building which is identified as a 'negative building' and an efficient use of land.

'These benefits are considered to outweigh the identified conflicts with policy - additional storeys and loss of a retail unit.'

This part of the application has received just one response from the public, from Nicolas Backhouse, who lives opposite the site. While Mr Backhouse said he was 'broadly supportive' of the development, he was keen for any work to be carried out during the day time, rather than early morning or late evening.

The application goes before Norwich City Council's planning committee on Thursday August 9 and is recommended for approval.