Decision due on plans for two major housing developments on outskirts of Norwich
The future of two massive developments on the outskirts of Norwich will be decided later this month.
Council officers are set to recommend that members of Broadland District Council's planning committee approve plans for the Broadland Gate business park and the Brook Farm development to the east of the city.
And if those schemes get approval, that could finally lead to the government handing over �21m of funding for the Postwick Hub, which is tied up with the Broadland Gate application.
But while local town councillors welcome the boost that the new business will bring to that area of Norwich and accept that new housing must be built, they do have concerns about whether the area can cope with so many new homes.
They are not convinced that the Postwick Hub - which would be a new junction off the A47 - is the solution.
The Brook Farm plans would see a total of 600 houses, a link road and a 14.6 hectare expansion to the business park as part of the development off Green Lane.
Investment firm Lothbury Trust withdraw their initial application last year, and have resubmitted a new plan since the Joint Core Strategy for Norwich was approved which includes parkland, the conversion of Green Lane North into a new Marriott's Way-style cycle and footpath, a rail halt and a new 2.2km link road.
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It is part of a wider master-plan to develop the second phase of the Broadland Business Park. There would also be provision for a GP surgery, a dentist, shops and a community hall.
The Broadland Gate development, on land to the east of Broadland Way and to the north of the A47 at Postwick, would give developers permission to build a new business park and what would essentially be the first part of the controversial Norwich northern bypass.
Developers Ifield estates and Norfolk County Council have put in a combined application for a new junction off the A47 at Postwick and an expansion of the park-and-ride site.
The new business park would also includes home, a hotel area, and a new medical centre.
Last month a high court judge quashed the initial planning decision after a successful legal challenge by the Lothbury Trust. The government has also ordered a separate public inquiry over any access changes from the slip roads off the A47.
Phil Kirby, strategic director and chief planner at Broadland District Council, said that the Joint Core Strategy - a blueprint for where thousands of homes and businesses will be built in and around Norwich over the next 15 years - had been approved since the Brook Farm application had been withdrawn.
He said both applications were consistent with that blueprint.
'Whilst they do give rise to potential increases in demand for improved infrastructure in terms of roads and schools that has all been built into the proposals', he said.
He said that the Broadland Gate development actually 'unlocks' the rest of the development potential.
'Brook Farm cannot be developed in isolation from the Broadland Gate development', he said.
'I would anticipate that the recommendation will be for approval subject to a raft of conditions.'
Thorpe St Andrew Town Council planning committee chairman John Fisher said he welcomed development of the business park and realised that there was a housing need, but said if both came together it would be 'horrendous'.
He said that 600 houses at Brook Farm was 'way too many'.
Town councillor Dennis Eley said that the plan for the new Postwick Junction was solely concerned with providing a road system for Broadland Gate and a junction for the NDR.
He said: 'No consideration has been given to the adverse effects and frustration to existing users of the Postwick Junction or quantifying the increase in journey times, fuel costs and carbon emissions, particularly when it is connected with the NDR.
Lothbury's chief executive Simon Radford, said he did not believe the Broadland Gate scheme was economically viable.
'There is no evidence that there is demand for more development.'
He said that there was a much cheaper alternative to the Postwick Hub, which they had come up with.
• Both plans are to go before Broadland District Council on July 20. The Broadland Gate plans will be discussed at a Thorpe St Andrew Town Council planning meeting on Monday.