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University's major expansion work will see six month Riverside Walk closure

PUBLISHED: 06:30 10 August 2019

Mary Chapman Court, which is being demolished to make way for an expansion of Norwich University of the Arts Pic: Archant.

Mary Chapman Court, which is being demolished to make way for an expansion of Norwich University of the Arts Pic: Archant.

Archant

Early works in a scheme to transform part of a city university will see a section of riverside walkway closed for six months.

How Mary Chapman Court could look once it has been redeveloped for Norwich University of the Arts. Pic: Hudson Architects.How Mary Chapman Court could look once it has been redeveloped for Norwich University of the Arts. Pic: Hudson Architects.

Earlier this year, Norwich University of the Arts was granted permission for a major expansion, which will provide 100 student accommodation rooms and new teaching facilities.

It will also see the demolition of an existing building, Mary Chapman Court, which previously served as accommodation for the University of East Anglia.

And with planning permission granted, preliminary works are under way for the project, which will take shape in the coming years.

As part of this, a 55-metre stretch of the city's picturesque riverside walk will be closed on Monday and is not scheduled to reopen until February 2020.

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This stretch will span the area Mary Chapman Court fronts, from where the popular pedestrian route meets Duke Street towards Coslany Street.

John Last, vice chancellor of NUA, said: "This is an exciting project for NUA, allowing the university to create the first purpose-build facility on our campus. It will extend our facilities for students, including a new lecture theatre, as well as improving the riverside walk for everyone in the city. Preliminary work is now under way; initially, clearing the interior of the old buildings at Mary Chapman Court.

"Every effort will be made to minimise disruption during these works."

The plans for the scheme were prepared for the university by Hudson Architects, which previously stated the riverside space the new development would create could also provide a theatre setting. As well as demolishing the existing 119 student rooms in the building, the basement car park will also be repurposed.

The existing building, Mary Chapman Court, was built in the 1970s and was previously owned by Norwich City Council, before being purchased by the university in September 2018.

Before this, the site was the location of ironworks Barnard, Bishops and Barnard, a function established in the middle of the 19th century.

A public notice detailing this phase of the works says the section of the walk will close from Monday, August 12 until Tuesday, February 11, 2020.

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