The leader of the Green group on Norwich City Council has said her councillors were right to block plans for a second Asda store in Norwich.

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The supermarket giant had hoped to build a new new store at the old Bally Shoe Factory site, near Tuckswood, along with a gym, pub, community centre, 334-space car park and other shops.

But, at a planning meeting last week, the city council’s planning committee turned down the scheme by five votes to four.

Four Green councillors and one Liberal Democrat voted to refuse the Hall Road scheme, saying the 5,796 sq m superstore was too dominant for a district centre, the plans did not make best use of a brownfield site, protected trees would be removed, pedestrian access was not good enough and the car park was too dominant.

That sparked Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council to criticise her political opponents for costing the city an estimated 400 jobs Asda said the development would bring.

But Claire Stephenson, leader of the Green group said her councillors made the right call in blocking the plans, particularly as the site could be used for homes.

An earlier planning application for the site, which has since expired, had included more than 220 flats and homes alongside a superstore, gym and community centre and Miss Stephenson said Labour were wrong to attack her party for standing up for better use of the land.

She said: “The council’s Labour cabinet knows that there’s a huge need for housing – particularly social housing – in Norwich, so to throw away the opportunity to build people places to live on a suitable site by using that valuable land for a supermarket car park which could have been more efficiently designed, seems very short-sighted.

“Furthermore, the Labour council needs to be doing more to help and promote local businesses, not just accepting whatever is offered by multi-national companies because they think it’s the ‘best they can do’.”

Stephen Little, Green councillor for Town Close, who was the planning committee member who proposed turning down Asda’s plans, said: “This application was an attempt to run roughshod over city council policies. These policies are in place for good reason: to protect the city centre as a focus for shopping, to ensure development is sustainable and not dependent on the use of a car and, perhaps most importantly, to ensure we make maximum use of brownfield sites.

“This application fell short on every count and would have drastically undermined carefully considered plans for the future of the city.”

Lucy Howard, Green councillor for Mancroft, who also sits on the planning committee, said: “It’s our job as community leaders to work with local businesses to create meaningful, well-paid work which is sustainable over the long term.

“The growing cost of oil will enormously increase the cost of supermarket food which is transported a long way. “As prices go up, jobs in supermarkets will become less sustainable.

“Also, the poor pedestrian and cycle access from Hall Road demonstrated that this was an application primarily centred around the car.

“This is completely contrary to planning policies which try to encourage cycling and walking.”

Asda, which has a store on Drayton Road, is understood to be deciding whether to appeal against the decision.

• What is your view on the decision which was made? Write to Norwich Evening News, Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

32 comments

  • We all know Anglia Square and the purpose it serves. It's just not right for erm, more conventional high street outlets, is it? It now has an undercover car dealership, tho! And there's still a variety of healthy, pastry-based hot snacks on offer! Of course, the blue light means it's often hard to find am appropriate vein in the toilets, but I love it there anyway...

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Excellent explanation by the Green Party councillors. It is about time we had sensible planning for Norwich instead of encouraging more retail sheds (which Asda would be) and business parks, which have wrecked Norwich's economy and environment. Incidentally, it has been shown that overall jobs are lost every time a supermarket opens. It's a shame that Brenda Arthur isn't well enough informed to understand this.

    Report this comment

    DrJB

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

  • yeah come on lets build houses on an industrial estate site with poor pedestrian access, no shops and schools full up or shut doctors surgeries full how sensible, bonus lets also cut the buses out that way too. as for the bike route well only have to walk oh woops cant do that no access!!!

    Report this comment

    trev

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Motorists are pampered, Abraham, their individual concerns still outweigh the reality of the environmental impact they create. It is despicable to use the misery of many young people and job seekers to justify this development, just to override the planning brief. Every morning there are long queues on Hall road, sometimes backing up close to Cecil road. Another cheap car park provision whilst everyone in the inner City pays for the impact they create, those who frequent shopping centres at the fringes, creating tailbacks for other traffic, as frequently happens on the lower end Ipswich rd. as well as in Thorpe St. Andrews with Sainsbury's and on the outer ring road approaching B&Q@s, they are all involved in congesting traffic and creating extra pollution for City dwellers. P& Ride should be changed, these buses should be picking up fare paying passengers on route, at designated bus stops, it is outrageous that Norfolk taxpayers subsidise this service when 30% of us do not drive, but would like occasionally use one of the buses which are currently passing them by half empty.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • The Norwich Greens have 15 city councillors compared to Labour's 21. To denigrate the tens of thousands of voters who have supported them and to say that they are deluded is not entirely balanced. The Green movement is growing globally and especially throughout Northern Europe. To look at the European towns and cities where they have power is to see a pleasant future where community counts rather than the individual. I see Hall Rd backed up with traffic every morning trying to get on to Queens Rd with one person in each tank-like vehicle. The oil is bought on the back of conflict and the West has never been so detested. Act locally but think globally.

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Sure Tesco will be trying to access the site next, and winning.

    Report this comment

    delgirl

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

  • the greens dont want buildings for jobs OR housing ! they just do not care !

    Report this comment

    Double Bill

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • oldowl "where community counts rather than the individual"..shirley, you must mean communism ?? when those chunks of the old iron curtain were torn down by the down trodden individuals of said countries, the fleeing commie hierarchy converted to 'environmentalists'....name those countries unwise owl!!!!!!

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • It is the planning department that's topsy turvy, not the green group. The development is against the planning brief and traffic density on Hall road is already close to congestion. Further, the lure of cheap car parking should now be curtailed, every supermarket should be required to pay for their parking space within the City limits, because they are attracting and generating pollution from outside the City, effectively increasing the impact on City people. Its not enough that we have to put up with HGV's all day long supplying this that and the other, clogging up our pedestrian precincts, the impact of incoming shoppers is a price we all pay, whilst those who cause the pollution are oblivious to it. p& ride is a privileged service subsidised by us all but unavailable to those who do not drive. Our whole traffic structure is biased in favour of the motoring public.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • The explanation given by the Green Party is both unrealistic and unconvincing. The probability of social housing being built on this site is approximately zero. Any housing built on this site will be exploited by the developers for expensive rental income.

    Report this comment

    dancer7

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Sorry you disapprove of my post IW. Jus sayin'...

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • dancer 7 got in spot on. Private rental companies will jump in there and line there own pockets if the site was covered in housing. Then again the Greens might be lining up a multi million pound factory on Hall Road making solar panels and wind turbines. I wish they would stick to Polar Bears and the Amazon Rainforest...

    Report this comment

    Tone the moan

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • We all know Anglia Square and the purpose it serves. It's just not right for erm, more conventional high street outlets, is it? It now has an undercover car dealership, tho! And there's still a variety of healthy, pastry-based hot snacks on offer! Of course, the blue light means it's often hard to find an appropriate vein in the toilets, but I love it there anyway...

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Greens - best eaten with a sunday roast, not allowed into politics! The car is always the killer of the planet! well there have been global warmings and Ice ages all well before the car! Hot air coming from the green party must account for a lot of global warming! IW says that 30 % of 'us' don't drive! Well that makes you the minority and it looks like the green party beleives in majority decisions counting so just give it a rest!

    Report this comment

    IT Man

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Ingo. I would say that Hall Road is one of the least congested roads in Norwich. Are you also suggesting stopping people who dont live in the City from coming in ? What effect will that have for the economy? Disastrous I would think. Our traffic structure has to provide for motorists because the vast majority are motorists.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • We need more houses.full stop ! there are more than enough Food Outlets in Norwich to cater for demand.and this is a Brownfield site,and not precious Green Belt land

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Yes el dingo, got you, the them and us malaise has rather ghettoised shopping precincts hasn't it. I would have liked to have seen Anglia Square expand and some new tenants found for Graffitty HQ.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • These Councillors ought to be made to pay the cost of the forthcoming appeal by Asda which Asda will win hands down. Nice of the Greens though to put the boot on super store workers as not having meaningful jobs. I think they must live on planet zog. They certainly don`t live in the real world.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Who cares about the city centre shops or small businesses as they all too expensive, Internet shopping is much better much cheaper . Way it go greens more jobs lost for our not so fine city, nice one!.

    Report this comment

    Cepnch

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Let's just wait to see if this isn't a backhander by Tesco or Sainsbury's to get in! No doubt they will submit a scheme 'kinder to the environment' and win hands down.

    Report this comment

    Jane Bradley

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Thank God there isn't another branch of Wal Mart opening in Norwich. Each time a supermarket opens it costs around 300 jobs in small businesses. Clearly, the people on here are not pro small business. Asda are also involved in the Work fare programme which is effectively slavery. To ask the giant buisnesses to pay their workers a living wage is not an unrealistic demand. As for Abraham's comments, you clearly have little understanding of the finite nature of resources in the world. You can bury your head in the sand if you like. Its not the councils job to help Asda continue its private war with Tescos over rising profit.

    Report this comment

    Somethingood

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Somethingood, I 'd like to see your evidence of 300 small business job losses. If they do in deed exist, I very much doubt they pay a liveable wage either?? The green party is the most dangerous ideology facing the poor folk of Norwich....boot 'em' out forever at the next election.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Totally illogical comments from the Greens. That site was an employment site for many years and should be so again. There have been enough sites already identified for housing around the Norwich area. The idea that supermarket businesses are not sustainable is nonsense, they are here to stay and they provide employment. The jobs they offer arent all shelf stacking, They employ people at all levels and there is no sign of dozens of small local shopkeepers coming up with any decent competition or offering better pay for that matter. Once again the Greens are living in cloud Cuckoo land. Get real.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Overprovision of supermarkets and Express outlets, and underprovision of affordable housing.Councillors are warned not to go against policy and their reasons for refusal could be scrutinised at appeal, let us wait and see. Do something about people with planning permission not building first of all.

    Report this comment

    bedoomed

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Double Bill, if your 2 nuLabour twonks had been 'bovverd' to turn up and vote....none of this ranting on here would be called for...another own goal by the nuLabour can't be bothered freaks.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Concerning for me is these idiot greens are shaping future norwich.. Lets all remember this when the next local elections are here.

    Report this comment

    Bygravey

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Can anybody here stand up and name one single cllr. who in the past has advocated returning the tram into Norwich, or making it easier to cycle in? Any of the car biased P&R sites serve their clientle and deliver them into the City centre, so you can approach the City from anywhere Daisy Roots, park up for a subsidised fee, sit on a new modern subsidised bus, without having to mix with pedestrians or cyclists, for a direct 4-7 minute drive into the City centre, on average. Should employers, who use young people for some five month, then replace them with a new batch of slaves, be allowed any development at all? do these exploiting practises don't mean anything to planners? This despicable behaviour by employers has been going on for far too long and ASDA uses this scheme, they are not giving meaningful jobs to people after they have completed month of free work in the disguise of 'experience.' Just sayin'.....El dingo, get help.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Ingo I reckon the congestion at Thorpe Sainsbury's is down to the deliberate neglect of the road system in order to justify the NDR, not just supermarket use. The roundabout by the rail bridge is not fit for purpose, nor is the roundabout between the A47 slip road and the Thorpe hospital roundabout. That which could have been done with a little bit of compulsory purchase to ease traffic flow has not.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Had it been T*sc* and not ASDA it would have been a done deal. They would have got round the Greens. Somehow. They never fail...

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Out of town shopping is becoming the norm,and councils just don't get the message! look at the number of empty shops in Castle mall,why bother to fight your way into the city if you can park for free in an out of town shopping centre? Just remember it is sky high business rents and rates that finance councils,and if there are fewer city centre businesses council tax receipts will diminish! Do all your shopping on the net,no need for retail outlets,transport,or councils.The trouble is if business rates go down they will come after the private householder for the money!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • I am not a massive fan of supermarkets and the area may not be suitable for a massive Asda, but can Cllr Stephenson or one of her supporters stand up and name a list of food outlets easily accessible by public transport or bike or on foot by the residents of the area which would have been served by Asda and a list of food outlets in Norwich City Centre which are not supermarkets and which are open outside of office hours- (so not the market -and remember when there were actually butchers shops in the city centre?) ? And can she also tell everyone the last time she did a weekly shop for a family of five or with a toddler in tow using her bicycle, if cycling and walking to shop is such brilliant idea? If councils drive food retailers out of city centres with massive business rates then it is not fair to expect residents to travel miles to shop. Sometimes I think Greens live a middle class life rather removed from that which most ordinary people have to deal with. A council which has not slapped down the proposals for the Deal Ground before they even got firmed up but turns down this one is behaving strangely imo.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

  • Another point, why is nobody questioning the ignorance of the City council over Anglia Squares decades long planning application furore, even now after the ex manager has died, what power obsessed individuals are playing politics in the department and why? I would welcome to see some ideas and suggestions from the usual abuse merchants here.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

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