Former car showroom could make way for 146 student flats

The Richard Nash showroom in Rouen Road, Norwich. Pic: Dan Grimmer

The Richard Nash showroom in Rouen Road, Norwich. Pic: Dan Grimmer - Credit: Archant

A former car showroom in Norwich city centre could be the site for an eight-storey block of student flats.

Plans have been lodged to demolish the site vacated by Richard Nash cars at Normans Buildings, off Rouen Road, and replace it with student accommodation.

Should the plan be given the go-ahead, it would be studio flats for 146 students.

The new building is proposed to be in an L-shape hugging the corners of Normans Buildings and Stepping Lane and would be eight storeys high.

However, the design would be stepped in levels, with some sections six storeys and others three.

Papers submitted with the application by Lanpro, on behalf of applicant Crosslane Student Developments, say: "The development proposes to demolish an unattractive building in the conservation area and replace it with a high-quality development to accommodate an evidenced need, which in this instance is 146 studios for students.

"The loss of car sales and servicing use will remove a number of vehicle trips into the city and replace it with a car-free development."

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Should the scheme go ahead, it would be the first Norwich development for the company, which specialises in building student housing.

The developer is responsible for existing sites in places including Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool and is also behind similar schemes further afield in mainland Europe, in places including Bordeaux in France and Ostenbruck and Oldenburg in Germany.

If approved, it would be the latest in a number of new student developments built in the city, as it looks to accommodate rising demand for both the University of East Anglia and Norwich University of the Arts.

In recent years the city has seen a prominent new student tower block in Pablo Fanque House on nearby All Saints Green, while work is also under way to build accommodation specifically for NUA off Duke Street.

Recent months have also seen a tower containing more than 300 student bedrooms built on top of the Barn Road car park, near Grapes Hill, which is now known as St Benedict's Gate.

Norwich City Council will consider the application in due course.