Concern over insects at site of £19m ‘care village’ near Norwich
08:46 07 March 2014
A £19m ‘care village’ on the outskirts of Norwich has been given the green light, but special measures will need to be taken to provide new homes for rare insects.
Norwich City Council’s planning committee yesterday unanimously agreed to grant permission for an 80-bed specialist dementia care home and 92-apartment housing-with-care scheme at Three Score in Bowthorpe.
Bosses at care company NorseCare had already struck a deal with Norwich City Council to be given a 2.3-hectare patch of land at Three Score to build the ‘care village’, but needed to secure planning permission for the development.
The proposal also features a ‘village hub’, including a shop, café, hairdressers, a day care service and a community wildlife garden.
Bosses at NorseCare, owned by Norfolk County Council, say that ‘hub’ could be used by the wider community.
While councillors gave their support to the scheme, concerns were raised about the impact on the ecology of the site, which is currently grassland.
A survey has shown there are 13 species of conservation concern, of which two are section 41 species.
Those are species considered of “principal importance” for the conservation of biodiversity in England.
The two are Cerceris quinquefasciata – a type of wasp which nests in hard sandy ground – and Coenonympha pamphilus – better known as the small heath butterfly.
Council officers said attempts would be made to mitigate for the loss of that habitat at other parts of the site and at Bowthorpe Historic Park.
NorseCare bid for £4.2m from the Homes and Communities Agency and Department of Health, which will help kick-start the £18.9m development, creating 118 jobs.
Mike Sands, city and county councillor for Bowthorpe, said the proposal had his “unequivocal” support, creating jobs and opportunities for local people and providing a care home for people with dementia.
He said: “It will fulfil a need for Bowthorpe, in Norwich and in wider Norfolk.”
In 2010, there were estimated to be 13,236 people in Norfolk with dementia and health experts have predicted that figure will rise.
The city council is looking to build up to 1,000 homes on the site.
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