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Uncertainty over Norwich homes plan

PUBLISHED: 09:02 12 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:13 01 July 2010

Artist's impression of how the St Anne's Wharf development is set to look once complete

Artist's impression of how the St Anne's Wharf development is set to look once complete

Long-awaited plans for more than 400 riverside homes in the city are to be reviewed after the companies behind the proposals went into administration.

Long-awaited plans for more than 400 riverside homes in the city are to be reviewed after the companies behind the proposals went into administration.

The future of the St Anne's Wharf development, between King Street and the river Wensum, was thrown into uncertainty after the three firms behind the project encountered financial difficulties after the slowdown in the construction sector.

Nigel Price, a partner at the Birmingham office of business recovery specialists Begbies Traynor, who was appointed administrator at the end of last month, said he would be considering “all the options” in a review of the plans.

The companies - City Living Homes, City Living Developments (Norwich) and Anglia Projects & Developments - had secured planning approval for 437 apartments and 22,000 sq ft of commercial space on the five-acre site, which has been earmarked for development since the mid 1990s.

Mr Price said: “We will be looking at all the options with St Anne's Wharf and we need to speak with the local authority about that. There will be a totally open-minded review of what to do with the site.

“Our appointment reflects the depressed state of the residential apartment market and the problems for the economy in general. The group did not have sufficient funds to continue with the build out of St Anne's Wharf.”

The companies also owned Paper Mill Yard, a 180-home development in the city centre, which was completed in March 2008. While most have been sold, four blocks totalling about 60 properties were still owned by the firms, Mr Price added.

He said: “These are nearly all rented and will probably stay that way for the immediate future.

“Management of the four blocks will continue and to that extent I do not expect the tenants will see any major changes.”

The administrators have also been left to consider the future of the “badly run-down” Grade II listed Howard House on the St Anne's site, built for Henry Howard, the sixth Duke of Norfolk, in the mid-17th century.

The firms' debts are still being assessed by Begbies Traynor. The companies employed just four people between them, who the administrator said would be retained “at least in the short term”.

Do you have a business story? Contact Sam Williams on 01603 772447 or email sam.williams@archant.co.uk

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