Fears for �100m housing scheme on edge of Norwich

Fears have been raised that proposals for a �100m housing development on the outskirts of Norwich could be hampered if a nearby industrial plant is given permission to keep running.

The owner of the Deal Ground site near Trowse claims his hopes of building almost 700 homes could be 'prejudiced' if an asphalt plant, which makes stone used in road construction, is allowed to keep operating.

And drinks manufacturer Brtvic has also warned that its profitability could be put at risk because of airborne pollution from the plant.

The row has flared up because the temporary permission Lafarge Aggregates has to operate the plant, which has a 22m high chimney, at Trowse Depot, has expired and the company, wants permanent planning permission.

But representatives for scrap metal entrepreneur Andre Serruys, who owns the Deal Ground site, has objected to that proposal, saying the continued use of the site could reduce the value of the homes built and lead to a reduction in the number of affordable homes at the site.

Proposals for that development were lodged with Norwich City Council in March, for 682 new homes, offices, plus a new marina on the River Wensum, along with road, pedestrian and cycle bridges over the rivers Wensum and Yare.

Planning consultancy Lanpro, acting on behalf of the Serruys Property Company said: 'Locating a permanent industrial use on the boundary of the regeneration area will block financial investment into this priority area and in turn cap the resultant benefits from the scheme, including affordable housing to the city, as a result of reduced scheme viability.'

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The issue of dust sparked concern at Britvic and Unilever, producers of Robinson's drinks and Colman's mustard, who fear an intensification of Lafarge's operations could increase the risk of the products at their Carrow Works site being contaminated by airborne pollution.

Representatives from Harvey & Co, on behalf of Britvic and Unilever, said granting permission would be 'fundamentally incompatible with an expanding and successful food and drink manufacturing use close by.'

They added: 'Significant costs incurred to modify operations at Carrow could put the companies at a serious commercial disadvantage, in the process diverting future investment away from Carrow.'

The city council, while not directly objecting to the scheme, called for a string of mitigatory measures to be put in place while Trowse Parish Council recommend approval but say Lafarge should have responsibility for cleaning Trowse railway bridge.

The county council's planning (regulatory) committee will made a decision on the application when they meet on Friday.

Officers are recommending that members authorise Mike Jackson, director of environment, transport and development to grant planning permission subject to a string of conditions being agreed, including measures to suppress the spread of dust, limits on noise levels, controlled hours of operation and a scheme to control the smell.

Nobody from Lafarge was available to comment in time for going to press.

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