Norwich School has submitted its revised proposal for development of the Bishop’s Palace Lawn site to Norwich City Council. The proposal responds to a pressing need for new dining and teaching facilities, together with landscaped outdoor spaces and improved access. It aims to deliver a high quality and visually appealing building that responds well to the important heritage of its surroundings. The intent is for the building to be used by community, charitable and educational groups, as well as by the school.
Planning officers recommended approval of an application on this site in 2019, but the proposal was narrowly refused by members of the City Council Planning Committee last summer due to concerns over the impact of tree removals from the site.
The proposal has been revisited to seek to address members’ concerns directly. It now includes significant additional soft landscaping and tree planting within the site and the wider Cathedral Precinct, enhancing the amenity and biodiversity of the whole Conservation Area:
- The landscaping proposals have been expanded to comprise 21 replacement and new trees within the application site; they now include 2 large trees which will be significant visible additions, contributing positively to the character of the local townscape.
- The new planting scheme also proposes 62 trees in the immediate Cathedral Precinct and within the City Centre Conservation Area.
- This new planting will all be offered in addition to the 688 trees and 130 young tree saplings that had been proposed off-site as part of the previous application.
Head Master, Steffan Griffiths commented:
“The school has always been committed to finding a development solution that delivers both environmental and community benefits for Norwich. The net benefits of the revised landscaping scheme are considerable and will further enhance the site by improving biodiversity and sustainability. It will deliver a major tree replacement and new planting scheme in the beautiful city centre to enhance the Conservation Area’s green character.
The proposed facilities will not only meet an urgent operational need for the school but will also provide a desirable community venue in the centre of our city for charitable and educational groups, as an extension to the school’s existing partnerships programme.
We are delighted to be submitting formally our revised proposal and hope our much improved plans will appeal to the city planners.”
Chairman of the Governors, Patrick Smith comments:
“This scheme is the outcome of nearly four years of consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. In particular, we have taken time to reflect on the reasons for rejection in 2019 and have worked extensively with our team of advisors, neighbours and Norwich City Council Officers to ascertain how best to address previous concerns. The school is now very proud of this new scheme.
With current national focus on overcoming the COVID-19 crisis, the school’s Governors are acutely sensitive to the economic climate and are looking to the medium term with this application. Therefore, once circumstances allow and on the basis of a positive determination of this planning submission, it is envisaged such a large-scale building project would be a positive source of civic pride and provide a major economic boost to local industries as they recover from the effects of the pandemic”.