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Surge in new homes means new Norwich school needed

A new school will be needed in Norwich, education bosses have confirmed.

A new school will be needed in Norwich, education bosses have confirmed.

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A new school will have to be built if ambitious plans to redevelop a key part of Norwich city centre go ahead, it has been revealed.

Early stages of discussion are under way over proposals to breathe new life into the south city centre area, which includes King Street, Rouen Road and Argyle Street.

As reported in the Evening News, Norwich City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) are asking people who live and work in the area to help plan for its future.

But it has also emerged that, with new homes likely to form a part of the vision for the area and proposals in the pipeline for hundreds of houses close by, a new primary school will be needed.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk County Council said: “The county council has identified the need for a new primary school as part of the proposed redevelopment of this area, not only to ensure sufficient school places for children living in the new housing, but also to benefit the wider community.

“As the planning proceeds, we will continue to work with our colleagues at the city council as well as local schools and, indeed, other partners, to work through in detail the case for a school before a final decision is taken.”

She said the plans were at a very early stage, so it was too soon to say where the school might be or how many pupils it would cater for.

In recent decades there have been new homes and landmarks, such as the Novi Sad and Lady Julian bridges, built in the King Street area.

Hundreds more homes could be built on a number of other nearby sites, including Rose Lane, Ber Street and the Deal Ground site at Whitlingham, which feature in a blueprint being drawn up by the city council as potentially suitable for new homes between now and 2025.

At a meeting last month of the city council’s sustainable development panel, where that blueprint, known as the site allocations plan, was discussed, Graham Nelson, the authority’s head of planning, said there were a number of “quite significant sites coming forward” in the area.

He said: “That may change the nature of that area, with a greater number of people living there and there may be a requirement for more local shops to serve the area.

“We are already in negotiations with our county colleagues about school provision. It is likely that we will have to find a site for a new primary school in Norwich to serve the east of the city centre.”

Another site earmarked for about 300 homes in that blueprint is the five-acre St Anne’s Wharf site, between the River Wensum and King Street.

Plans for 437 homes on the former Norwich Brewery site stalled after property developers City Living Developments (Norwich) and sister companies City Living Homes and Anglia Projects & Developments went into administration two years ago.

The partnership has appointed a project team, led by David Lock Associates, to work on a plan for the south city centre area, which will go out for consultation in the autumn.

People who live and work in the area have attended open-door sessions over the proposals, with another one due to be held on Thursday.

It will take place at the King’s Centre in King Street, between 3pm and 7pm.

For more information about the project, visit www.norwichsouthcityarea.com

• Do you have a schools story? Call Evening News education reporter Victoria Leggett on 01603 772468 or email victoria.leggett@archant.co.uk

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