Photo gallery: Plans for controversial Pinebanks site in Thorpe St Andrew are finalised and submitted

Ocubis development manager Stuart Adolph.

Ocubis development manager Stuart Adolph.


Final plans for the former Pinebanks site in Thorpe St Andrew have been revealed after the public had their say on the developers’ proposals.

Plans for 215 new homes on the former Norwich Union-owned site were submitted to Broadland District Council yesterday, around four-and-a-half years after it was closed down.

Plans for the Pinebanks and Griffin Lane sites in Thorpe were put on display in public exhibitions, revealing firm plans for the first time.

With the feedback now digested and considered by the developers, the plans have been submitted and include:

215 private and affordable houses at Pinebanks – 207 private and eight reduced market value, where the purchaser pays 75pc of the market value.

52 affordable houses and bungalows at Griffin Lane, of which 19 will be reduced market value and 33 available as affordable rented accommodation.

A new £400,000 community building on the Griffin Lane site.

An £80,000 skate park at Dussindale Recreation Ground.

£35,000 funding to restore two unused grass pitches in Laundry Lane which are owned by Thorpe St Andrew School, which would then be managed by the school and town council.

£25,000 funding to create a cricket practice net area at Dussindale.

The retention and preservation of a World War Two ‘zero station’ radio bunker at Pinebanks and tank traps at Griffin Lane.

Stuart Adolph, development manager for Ocubis, said: “The proposals represent a great opportunity to deliver much-needed private and affordable housing and a range of new and improved community, leisure and sports facilities suitable for Thorpe St Andrew.

“The funding for these new facilities, however, can only come from income generated through house sales at Pinebanks.”

A three-day exhibition was held alongside neighbourhood forums for local residents, as developers Ocubis, representing site owners Berliet, gauged public reaction to the plans.

This saw a total of 128 comment forms completed and a total of 54pc of people agreeing the overall design of the proposals was either “well considered” or “satisfactory” and 46pc of people thinking the plans “needed more consideration” or simply answered “no”.

A total of 86 people, from around 350 invitations posted to nearby properties, attended the neighbourhood forums and 242 people attended the public exhibitions.

The plans also include an agreement for the developers to contribute approximately £1.4m for education provision locally and approximately £1m for formal sports provision locally, that could be utilised to facilitate a new sports hall at Thorpe St Andrew School - both as part of Section 106 legal agreements.

Mr Adolph continued: “We understand that Pinebanks’ closure by Aviva in 2008 affected a number of clubs Norwich-wide and beyond, but all of these organisations have now either merged with others or found alternative facilities.

“The new and improved sports, leisure and community facilities that can only come forward as a result of our development proposals must be sustainable in the long run for the community they serve – Thorpe St Andrew.”

Mr Adolph said assessments carried out by Ocubis had uncovered unused or under-used local sports facilities and added that discussions were already underway to create a working group which will examine local facilities and how they are used.

The proposals also include the opening up of ancient woodland and the inclusion of new woodland walks and paths that link up with existing footpaths.

Green areas with play equipment are also proposed at Pinebanks and a total 4,775sqm of play area space is provided on the site, which is in excess of the guidance from Broadland District Council.

Taking into account the woodland and the former gravel pit on the Pinebanks site, a further 56,000sqm of recreational space could benefit the community as a whole.

Mr Adolph continued: “The feedback from the public during our consultation has helped to shape the final proposals and we are very grateful to all those who participated.

“We are in the process of responding to all those who emailed or wrote to us and a newsletter, which clarifies the final proposals, will shortly be distributed to local homes and businesses.”

It is expected it will now take the district council at least two months to assess the planning application.

For further details about the plans, go to www.pinebanksproposals.co.uk

- To view the plans in full, view the photo gallery at the top-right of this page.

- What do you think about the plans? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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