Inspector rules councillors were right to reject bid for 152 student flats next to Norwich Premier Inn

PUBLISHED: 15:30 04 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:30 04 January 2019

The site next to the Premier Inn on Duke Street where student flats could be built. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

The site next to the Premier Inn on Duke Street where student flats could be built. Pic: Dan Grimmer.


An appeal against Norwich City Council’s refusal to allow flats for 152 students to be built has been dismissed by an inspector - but a similar scheme could yet get the go-ahead.

The Jane Austen College in Colegate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Jane Austen College in Colegate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

City councillors last year turned down an application for the student complex on land currently used as a car park next to Premier Inn in Duke Street.

People living nearby and the Inspiration Trust, which runs the neighbouring Jane Austen College, had objected to the proposal, with the school saying it would suffer from a loss of light.

They rejected the scheme, which would have been up to nine storeys in height, on the grounds that it would not ensure satisfactory living and working conditions, and would not deliver high quality design.

Applicant Raer Estates/Keypoint Norwich appealed to the planning inspector over the decision. But planning inspector Graham Chamberlain has dismissed that appeal.

He said it would undermine the expectation of the college to have “sufficient access” to sun and daylight and would harm the living conditions of some of those in Dukes Palace Wharf opposite.

However, a scheme could yet get planning permission because, while the appeal was still ongoing, the applicants lodged another application with City Hall.

That application is for a 149-bed student development, which is shorter than the previous proposal, with the maximum height cut to seven storeys, plus a basement.

In documents lodged with City Hall, the applicants say they have made changes based on the concerns previously raised and state: “It is considered that the benefits that this development will bring to regenerating this site, will also outweigh the limited impacts on the amenity of neighbouring properties.”

But there have been 24 objections, including one from the Inspiration Trust. They said, while the scheme addressed a number of concerns and they appreciated the work the applicant had done, they still objected.

They said: “The revised scheme does have a reduced height, but it remains a large building out of scale with the majority of neighbouring historic buildings.

“The proposed building would remain exessively domineering on its environs and particularly on the outdoor space at Jane Austen College.”

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