Latest attempts to build homes on Methodist Church site are refused

PUBLISHED: 13:52 09 August 2018

Flashback to 2016, when campaigners protested against plans to convert St Peters Methodist Church in Norwich into flats PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Flashback to 2016, when campaigners protested against plans to convert St Peters Methodist Church in Norwich into flats PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

The latest attempts to build homes on the site of a Methodist church in Norwich’s Golden Triangle have been knocked back by councillors.

Wymondham-based developer the Interesting Building Company is looking to build homes where St Peter’s Methodist Church stands on Park Lane in the city - and has made a number of separate bids to do so.

At a meeting of Norwich City Council’s planning committee this week, the company saw not one, but two separate applications for the sites refused by members.

Both schemes were scaled back drafts, proposing 10 new homes, rather than the 20 originally refused.

The two applications were almost identical, with the exception that one would have seen the church and associated buildings completely demolished, while the other proposed conversion of the main church building.

However, after hearing objections from members of the public, the committee unanimously voted to support officer recommendations to refuse both schemes.

The applications were both recommended for refusal as it was felt the schemes did not offer enough benefits to justify losing the buildings, it did not offer provisions for affordable housing and that there was risk of flooding.

The scheme was, however, praised for addressing some of the concerns raised when refusing the previous application for 20 homes.

Labour councillor Hugo Malik said the application had “moved in the right direction”, but that more work was required.

Fellow councillor Roger Ryan added: “It seems to me the application is not quite there and I feel there needs to be work. I think there needs to be more high-quality social housing in this part of Norwich.”

Prior to the discussion Lee Hooper, Andrew Boswell and Bryan Steele, who live near the site, voiced concerns over the level of public amenities offered in the proposals and potential flooding impact.

The decision came the day after a planning appeal into a previous attempt from the home builders to develop the site was adjourned until September, following a late evidence submission.

Tomasina Winch-Furness of the Interesting Building Company said she did not wish to comment on the decision at this stage.

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