Norwich site for 800-seat church to be sold

GrahamDacre350Plans by the Lind Trust to build an 800-seat church on the former David Rice Hospital site on Drayton High Road near Norwich have been shelved and the site, with existing planning permissions, is now up for sale, including to other churches or faith-based organisations. Keith Morris reports.
Norwich Christian entrepreneur Graham Dacre, who is involved in the Lind Trust and Today’s Lifestyle Church, has also confirmed that the Trust has just purchased the five-acre site of a former car showroom on Cromer Road in Hellesdon, which could be used to build a church sometime in the future.
But, he stressed, Today’s Lifestyle Church which meets at Drayton Hall has no plans to move anywhere in the foreseeable future. “We have no plans to move the church to Cromer Road at this time but if it made sense in the future then that is something we would look at with the congregation. Our church has been meeting successfully in Drayton for some time now and last month we started on a complete refurbishment of Drayton Hall which we hope we can show people later in the year with a community-wide open day,” said Graham.
Planning permission for an 800-seat church remains on the David Rice site and Ben Guest from Savills in Norwich said: “We will be seeking expressions of interest in the site and our client would obviously be prepared to consider the interest of churches or other faith-based organisations who may wish to acquire the site.”
The new five-acre site, purchased for an un-disclosed sum, was formerly the home of the Volvo dealership on Cromer Road in Norwich but, following the transfer of the Volvo franchise to Holden Motors last year, the site came onto the market.
The land includes the former Volvo and Lexus showroom and workshops and also the used car site on Reepham Road but does not affect the normal trading of Hunters Land Rover or H A Fox Jaguar. It is expected that completion on the acquisition will take place later in the year.
TLC1webLes Brown, planning and development consultant, from Les Brown Associates said: “We have made some initial enquiries in respect of a mixed use development including a church and over the coming months we will be assessing how best to maximise the opportunity.”
In the meantime William Router who is director of property at Dacre Property Holdings said he would be interested in hearing from any businesses looking for short-term lettings of the showrooms, the site on Reepham Road or the adjacent open storage land.

Read our previous story on this topic

Pictured above is an earlier visual of the proposed church at the David Rice site.


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