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East Norwich development at Colman’s site in spotlight

3:00 PM July 2, 2022

Developers and council bosses will this week attempt to convince planning inspectors a scheme to build thousands of homes on the edge of Norwich is achievable.

The East Norwich Masterplan is a blueprint for the development of former industrial sites in Carrow and Trowse.

It covers four main sites – Carrow Works, home of the former Colman’s and Britvic factories; the Deal Ground and May Gurney sites and the Utilities site.

The Carrow Works site

The Carrow Works site. Pic: Fuel Properties.

– Credit: Fuel Properties

Plans for 1,856 homes at the Carrow Works site are due to be lodged with Norwich City Council by developers Fuel this month.

Serruys Property has permission for nearly 700 homes on the Deal Ground and May Gurney sites, while the Utilities Site, owned by National Grid and RWE Generation UK, is earmarked as having potential for 684 homes.

But the area is also a key element of a blueprint for where almost 50,000 homes could be built in and around Norwich up to 2038.

That document – the Greater Norwich Local Plan – is being scrutinised by inspectors, who will recommend to secretary of state Michael Gove whether it should be approved.

Communities Secretary Michael Gove giving his keynote address during the Conservative Party Conferen

Secretary of state Michael Gove
– Credit: PA

Some 5,000 homes in it have already been built and locations of around 74pc identified, but the plan needs to allocate locations for the rest.

Norwich, South Norfolk and Broadland councils would then use it to help determine whether future planning applications should be permitted or not.

The East Norwich development is earmarked to provide 3,362 of the remaining homes.

But the inspectors want to establish if those homes are viable and whether they will be delivered by 2038.

A special hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday (July 6) where developers, council officers and other interested parties will be asked about the East Norwich schemes.

Officers from the Greater Norwich Development Partnership will seek to persuade the inspectors that the schemes are viable and phased building would see homes constructed in time.

A view of the river from the Deal Ground site

A view of the river from the Deal Ground site

– Credit: Norwich City council

Fuel Properties and Serruys Properties, working with Hopkins Homes, plus National Grid and RWE Generation UK have also made supportive submissions.

However, Historic England says the number of homes should be reduced further, to create a buffer protecting listed buildings such as Carrow Abbey and Carrow House.

And agents for other developers say the council’s projected delivery rates are “grossly over-optimistic”.