Plans for 1,700 homes in Norwich given a boost

An aerial overview of how the Deal Ground site could look as a whole. An aerial overview of how the Deal Ground site could look as a whole.

Monday, August 4, 2014
11:13 AM

Ambitious proposals to build more than 1,700 homes on two sites on the edge of Norwich have been boosted, after council leaders agreed in principle to award £5m of loans to kickstart the schemes.

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The developers behind the Deal Ground site - the largest patch of derelict land in the city - and the Three Score site at Bowthorpe are in line for the financial help.

Serruys Property Company secured planning permission last summer to build 670 homes, shops, restaurants and pub, a bridge over the River Yare, car parking and a new access road at the Deal Ground, near Trowse.

The project has been on the drawing board for years, but the award of the planning permission last year was a major step forward for the scheme.

But, with the site constrained by the lack of infrastructure, the developer had applied to the Greater Norwich Growth Board - made of representatives from Norwich City Council, South Norfolk Council, Broadland District Council, Norfolk County Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership - for a loan to help.

The loans, from the Greater Norwich Local Infrastructure Fund, are available thanks to the Greater Norwich City Deal agreed by the government last year and means up to £20m of loans can be borrowed at discount from the Public Works Loan Board.

That money can be lent for essential infrastructure work and the board agreed in principle to make £3.5m available for the Deal Ground scheme.

Pending further work in terms of business plans and proof of ability to pay back the loan money, the loan would be used from 2015 to build a spine road, bridge and other work at the Deal Ground, to be paid back in 2020.

Chris Leeming, director of Norwich-based planning consultants, Lanpro Services, which has been involved in drawing up the proposals for the Deal Ground on behalf of Serruys Property Company welcomed the board’s decision.

He said: “Because the deal ground is phase one of a bigger programme, it is key that the infrastructure is in place. It’s a good contribution towards that.”

The second scheme which the board agreed a loan in principle to is the proposal for 1,100 homes at Three Score - the missing link in a project which dates back to the 1970s.

The board agreed to earmark £1.87m to Norwich City Council to provide roads and utilities infrastructure at the Bowthorpe development.

Work is due to start this September, with the loan repaid in 2016.

Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council and chairman of the Greater Norwich Growth Board, who had to leave the meeting while the decision over the loan to her own council was made, said she was pleased that the City Deal had made the loans possible.

She said: “It’s an amazing piece of good news that we can get on and help sites which have been stalled. Once again, the public sector is coming to the rescue.”

A third loan has been agreed, in principle, for a scheme in Wymondham.

Endurance Estates Strategic Land stands to be lent £3.5m to widen the existing railways bridge in Silfield Road, to build 1.5km of cycleway and to improve drainage in an area which regularly floods. That will pave the way for a development of 1,230 new homes.

• Do you have a story about a local council? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

25 comments

  • We all know planning applications are approved by certain coloured envelopes

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    che bramley

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Am I missing something, I thought May Gurney Kier Group operated out of this site?

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    PeeNut

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • We are still allowing developers to build housing on floodplanes and this is aprime example of building at sea level. Obviously these are going to be marketed at the elderly and retired, beacuse the services we need for families are far too stretched locally. The traffic in the morning will be greatly enhanced by another 1000 or so cars because we can't expect people who live in a City to walk or cycle to nearby shops, they need a car to get there!

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

  • Where is the demand someone asks? Well, to house more illegal immigrants maybe so they can become a burden on council resources and justify another increase in council tax. For 'Pete's sake' haven't you residents realised that a Labour Council promotes social dependency without considering how the hard working people have to pay for it - but it's only votes they want! In years to come more private house owners will redress the balance but it's a long way off.

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    308GT4

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

  • How did this go through the planning process? My dad has had his plans for a 6 x 8 foot porch turned down by (whatever) council!

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    Parsnip

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

  • Once again taxpayer money used to line developers pockets. The idiotic council should concentrate improving their current stock and ensuring no council homes are empty.

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    Parsnip

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

  • You would have more chance of getting your money back with Bernard Madoff.

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    John L Norton

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Steely, as an ex landscaper, you could have gone for porous paving :). Looks like their is 1 parking spot per house. I remember the Deal proposals prior to the crash (remember growth hubs). This site is essentially the gateway to Norwich by railroadriver and a first impression on Norwich; so with the Utility site needs tidying up in a sensitive way. 5 years ago my scrutiny was to what extent developers had engineered for a flood event, 1:25' 1:50, 1:100 yr event. From their plans it looks like they have mitigated against CC events, by building on highermore protected land. Being near county hall it would suit employees who could cyclebike into work.

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    Rob Whittle

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • I agree with your lifestyle Rob but unfortunately we are a minority. Maybe we should live in Holland or Germany. Last year when trying to sell my house I was told in all sincerity (by an estate agent!) that I should demolish my front garden ,chop down the tree and have it all brick weaved. All this at an estimated cost of £8000, to attract a family buyer. I don't know if you know any of the background of this developer and we have to be careful what we say.

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    Steely Dan

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • I have no problem with this site being developed but the fact that the public purse is being used to subsidise the development suggests that the houses are not needed. We keep hearing about supply and demand, well where is the demand?

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    JohnnyH

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Steely, I don,t have cars, not even 4; have 2 bikes, a boat and one of these properties would suite me right down to the Yare!:) It also to see there are many other potential housing proposals taking over now defunct land uses.

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    Rob Whittle

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Rob - I'm sure its all very worthy on paper. It would probably work in more enlightened countries in Europe. But here nobody wants cycle lanes when they have four or five cars parked on their concreted over garden. Don't forget the people concerned are hoping to demolish the Oasis and build housing there as well.

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    Steely Dan

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Steely Dan, if you spend time to look at the detailed site plan, on Lanpro, you will see large areas of landscaping, large amounts of gardens, biological corridors, bike routes, footpaths, numerous trees, the existing Conservation area, the marina area and kids play areas. It looks the right balance; but its essential to look at there detailed plans prior to a dark green nose bleed.

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    Rob Whittle

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Peter Watson there is no guarantee about utilising the local work force. There are 19 recent developments of new social housing the in city council area where the Architects, Builders and Housing Association are from Ipswich.

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    B.Moore

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • theres no accountability in local government! who will get fired when the loans not paid back.

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    michael

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Here's a chance for some decently paid regular work for local building workers but let's make sure they are properly employed,not agency, or the blight of the construction industry,false self-employment.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • What a joke to lend tax payers money to a private company who have no track record with this size development. What guarantees will be given to ensure repayment Looks like a gift to Serruys Property Company to me

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    Scottboy

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Rob - I would doubt there will be many landscaped areas, gardens or trees. The British prefer to concrete over gardens and are terrified of trees. I doubt also if any shops or restaurants will be built either. Just more houses.

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    Steely Dan

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Looking at the detailed plans of Lanpro, the housing is built above 5 metres of the floodplain. The use of this brownfield land is for housing is highly appropriate and much needed. This is an urban site,let's not beat around the Japanese Knotweed! ! Looking at the ecological assessments housing is built on derelict areas of invasive species such as Japanese knotweed, Oxford Ragweed and Buddleas, replacing with gardens and landscaped areas with trees. The Wildlife Conservation area is maintained and untouched on floodplain without house development. Several bicycle routes (where some of the infrastructure money is going), reading through the detailed plan, adding to Norwich's bicycle network and transport sustainability.To counter Daisy' rather dim and dark green approach, indeed without inappropriate gravel extraction in the last 50 years we would not have the beauty of Whittingham broad, indeed without peat extraction for Norwich we would not have the biodiversity of the broads. So I'm for these brownfield redevelopments like Deal and Utilities, St Anne's Wharfs, for new housing for people, construction jobs integrating into other aspects like tourism and a marina. I'd agree with Stew, a shrewd move to house more folk, transforming contaminated land, broken concrete, japonican polygonium and buddlia davidia invasive into homes and gardens.

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    Rob Whittle

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • When will the people learn, this site is not fit for housing, it always floods and has bad drainage,

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    Derek McDonald

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • .,...This could be the way forward to cut that waiting list for council houses and solve the bedroom tax in one smart move!....Present tenant's seem unwilling to downsize as their families grow up and leave....so the answer could be to make ALL of these new homes ONE bedroom accommodation... single mums, absent fathers, widows and widowers, could be housed in suitable sized homes heavily subsidised by the taxpayer as they are now!....Ms BA !...A very shrewd move may I say!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Excuse me Brenda Arthur loan to her own Council,then awarding a loan to kickstart the scheme using our tax money,to be paid back in installments over 6 years.Sounds like another Labour self interest initiative like the PPI finance fiasco.Where is the proof this company can pay it back,as we have heard this all before the financial crash this country was left in by politicians.

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    PaulH

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Serruys Property Company has a track record,not to be encouraged,Tge Lakenhan rocket Pavilion and ground for instance,and a disastrous pland to build on a flood plain,described as derelict land which should be returned to nature with leisure facilities

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    Albert Cooper

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Daisy is absolutely right, building on this site and lending our money to Serruys Property Company is fraught with danger.

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    Vic Sponge

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • So not only has this development of an area which is on a flood plain, close to an area of natural beauty and which should have been returned to its natural state or a park-been pushed through planning, the local tax payer is propping up the infrastructure? This obsession with developing brown field sites which might be better described as sites formerly used in an inappropriate way is wrong. Some hard questions ought to have been asked about why permission was given for this spread of urbanisation .

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, August 4, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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