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More than 600 Beds Planned for Norwich

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Developers have proposed transforming a Norwich city centre office block into flats for more than 600 students.

There have been a number of substantial planning applications submitted to the council this year, to build or develop student accommodation.

The latest application calls for the redevelopment of St Crispin's House in Duke Street, into flats for 614 students.

The current building dates back to the 1970s and varies in height from three to six storeys. Under the plans lodged with the council, the height of the new scheme would increase to eight storeys tall.

Documents submitted as part of the application said of the site: "Technology advances and changing working practices mean there is no longer the same demand for such large offices by a single operator.

"The current owners therefore let the building to a number of smaller businesses. However, this demand is proving relatively poor and there is vacant space within the building.

"Substantial investment is required to upgrade the building but, even then, the demand is unlikely to justify the expenditure. The building is therefore ceasing to be viable as office accommodation."

The developers went on to suggest the owners had identified a need for student housing and commissioned a feasibility study in 2016 to establish the building's suitability.

According to the applicants, the student development would enhance the city and provide a positive contribution.

A decision on the proposed accommodation is due by the end of the year.