Measures to protect bats at Bowthorpe are set to be agreed tonight. Photo: Science/PA Wire

Bats to get protection when new homes are built on edge of Norwich

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
1.20 PM

The design of a huge housing development on the outskirts of Norwich is to be tinkered with – so the flight path of bats is not disrupted.

Norwich City Council is, through a partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency, looking to get 1,000 homes built at the Three Score site, in Bowthorpe.

The council lodged plans for the development with its own planning committee back in March.

But at a meeting tonight, councillors will be asked to make a couple of changes to the proposals, following comments received during public consultation.

One of the changes members of the city council cabinet will be asked to make is to “appropriate” a patch of land to the west of St Mildred’s Road.

While the council already holds the land for housing purposes, the authority needs to use a government act to instead use it for planning purposes.

Specifically, the land, which is an area of scrub and trees, which follows overhead electricity lines, will not be built on, but kept clear to retain a bat corridor.

Council officers said, in the report which will come for councillors: “The additional land will allow this to be retained alongside a footpath/cycle way along the eastern boundary of the development site.

“It will also allow for the possibility of a footpath/ cycleway connecting the Threescore development to St Mildred’s Road in future.”

A second strip of land north of Bowthorpe Hall Road/Earlham Green Lane is also to be “appropriated”. That is, according to officers, to ensure “there is sufficient land to accommodate the bus access into the development”.

Officers said: “The provision for public transport is a vital component of the development as a whole. The inclusion of the land will ensure that mitigation measures can be incorporated within the design of the bus access at this point to minimise problems of overlooking for residents in the vicinity.”

The controlling Labour cabinet will tonight be asked to resolve that the patches of land are not needed for housing purposes and to authorise that the deputy chief executive is handed delegated powers to deal with the matters.

City Hall leaders recently agreed to allocate £4.7m to build the first council houses in Norwich for two decades at the Three Score site.

As part of the first phase of building at the site, the council would own 47 of the homes.

The Three Score site has been earmarked for development for decades.

Are you looking for a new home? Make sure you get the Norwich Evening News on Thursdays for our Homes 24 section and visit the website at www.homes24.co.uk