September 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
A former dementia care home in Norfolk, which has stood derelict for eight years, is set to make way for 50 new homes after councillors approved plans to revive the site.
Cygnet House, in Swan Lane, Long Stratton has been boarded up since it was last used to provide care in 2006, but South Norfolk Council, which owns the building, will be demolishing it and building the homes, as well as 800sqm of office space along with associated highways works.
Planning officer Helen Mellors told the council’s development management committee meeting yesterday the development would take place on different levels and would involve the retention of another building at the site- The Lodge, which is used by South Norfolk Council.
Although the Greater Norwich Development Partnership’s Joint Core Strategy earmarks Long Stratton for 1,800 new homes, the Cygnet House plans are not included in this number as they are being built within development limits.
The offices will be two storey in size, while the access to the site will be through the existing junction between the site and the link road connecting Swan Lane and South Norfolk House, where the council is based, next door.
However, councillors raised a number of concerns about the project, particularly traffic levels on the roads surrounding the site and the provision of only 10pc affordable housing, or five homes, as opposed to the target of 33pc in council policy.
Councillor Tim East, who represents Old Costessey, asked Iain Hill, head of planning at building consultancy Ingleton Wood, to explain the reasons behind the reduction of the affordable housing element from 33pc to 10pc.
Mr Hill replied the decision was related to the additional costs of developing the site as there was a lot of work that needed to be done.
Mr East also asked about a condition concerning contaminated land, but Mr Hill said he did not think it was related to any contamination on site, though the developers would be looking into it further.
Other concerns were about the safety of a children’s play area and a lack of car parking provision for the offices, but Mr Hill said fencing would be erected to ensure there was no danger to the children and the 26 spaces should be sufficient parking for the office workers.
“It is a key centre for business development and growth and it is in an urban area of the village providing good access to a range of facilities.
“Cygnet House will be replaced by a modern business development that will provide a range of companies looking to take advantage of the opportunities in the locality,” Mr Hill added.
Since the care home closed, a number of proposals had been made to revive the site, including plans to build 80 homes of varying sizes inspired by the historic buildings in Long Stratton.