Preston Opens New Student Centre
15th Oct 2021
A former Debenhams store in Norwich could be transformed into student accommodation should a proposed sale go ahead.
In Orford Place, the store closed its doors in May this year. The building, which does not benefit from any listing, was confirmed in July to be formally under offer.
Reports now suggest the potential buyer could transform the site into a mixed-use scheme if the deal is finalised.
It is understood the new owner is proposing retail and leisure facilities on the ground floor, with student accommodation earmarked for the upper floors.
Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council's cabinet member with responsibility for planning, welcomed the proposed use but said it needed to be implemented in a considered way.
He said: "Finding new uses for empty space in the city is always welcome but likewise purpose-built student accommodation is always a preference."
"We would need to look very carefully at any plans as it is a large building with windows all around the outside, so it would need very careful attention to detail to make sure there is sufficient natural light."
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