Search is on to find investor for £2.7m riverside flat complex

Computer-generated image of what the former BT repeater station site could look like

Computer-generated image of what the former BT repeater station site could look like - Credit: LSI Architects

A site which was once at the heart of Norwich's telecommunications network has been put on the market for more than £2.5m.

And instead of housing the former BT repeater station, the Westwick Street lot already has planning permission for 42 swanky new riverside flats. 

Following planning permission being granted in 2017 and the building demolition finally being carried out over a year ago, the search is now on for an investor.

Computer-generated image of what the former BT repeater station site could look like

The former BT repeater station site could soon house 42 flats - Credit: LSI Architects

With full planning permission in place, any potential developer would be required to follow designs set out by LSI Architects - or apply to the city council to make amendments.

These designs will see 42 new dwellings built across three blocks, with parking for both cars and bicycles and an access road for the site.

The plot has been placed on the market by property firm Brown and Co, which has set a guide price of £2.7m.

Andrew Haigh of Brown and Co

Andrew Haigh of Brown and Co - Credit: Brown and Co

Andrew Haigh, divisional partner, commercial, for Brown and Co, said: "The scheme provides three five-storey buildings with an attractive mix of one and two-bedroom apartments, mostly with river views together with 18 car parking spaces."

The vision for the site was previously welcomed by civic watchdog the Norwich Society, which praised the plans as "imaginative".

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There were at the time though some reservations from neighbours, who felt that the three towers would be over-bearing, with one objector describing it as "visually dominating".

Demolished BT repeater station in Norwich

The former BT repeater station in Westwick Street has been knocked down to make way for flats. - Credit: Dan Grimmer

However, four years ago the scheme was given the green light by city planners, with demolition work beginning in 2020, just before the permission was due to expire.

The repeater station was originally built in the 1950s and served the city for several years.

All telephone traffic used to be carried over copper conductors in telephone cables.

But because copper wire is resistant to electrical signals, the power of the signals diminishes over distance.

To help make long-distance calls audible, amplification was needed – which is what happened at the Westwick Street telephone repeater station.

But the development of modern optic cables rendered such stations redundant and the building has long been out of use.