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What could the future hold for Colman's and Britvic's Norwich factory site?

PUBLISHED: 12:02 04 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:02 04 October 2017

Entrance to the Norwich Britvic factory. Picture: Nick Butcher

Entrance to the Norwich Britvic factory. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

If Britvic and Unilever decide to shut their doors in Norwich, a huge patch of industrial land will be vacated.

The Carrow Works site, as it is known, was considered as a site to be earmarked for employment use in the Norwich local development plan. However, it was dismissed from the plan as the site was already being used for employment.

But with the possibility of vacancy, how would the site be best used now?

Sam Kingston, partner at Roche chartered surveyors in Norwich, said the site’s size meant there were “a lot of options” for redevelopment, but that its good transport links were most likely to draw in distribution companies.

“It is a large site, therefore it has got potential for all sorts of alternative uses,” he said.

“Its location has good accessibility to the A47, so in my mind I can see the industrial space being retained and used for warehousing and distribution, because it sits close to the Trowse bypass.

“You have a number of older buildings along the river which could be turned into residential units, as has happened with buildings near the football ground.”

Mr Kingston said the site’s size could lead to it being broken up, with the potential to accommodate residential space and continued commercial use.

“There is no business I am aware of looking for any premises of that size. If it became available some masterplan would need to be drawn up to see what the best uses would be in the different locations and whether the buildings have any potential for reuse,” he said.

“It would be a difficult site to work through because it has evolved and developed over time and planning regulations are different to when it was built.”

While Carrow Works had not been included in the local development plant, the nearby Deal Ground site, a disused industrial area, is one of three strategic regeneration sites in east Norwich, along with the May Gurney site on the east bank of the River Yare.

In July 2013 outline planning permission was granted for 670 dwellings on the May Gurney and Deal Ground sites, 594 of which would be on the latter site, with a commercial centre on the former.

Managing the transport impact of any development on the surrounding roads and the village of Trowse was labelled as a key development consideration.

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