First stage of 1,000 new homes at Hellesdon gets go-ahead

The Royal Norwich Golf Club at Hellesdon, where developers are proposing to build a thousand houses.

The Royal Norwich Golf Club at Hellesdon, where developers are proposing to build a thousand houses. Golfers crossing the busy Drayton High Road. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

Around 1,000 new homes will be built in Hellesdon after 2019 as outline plans were approved after six-hours of debate at two meetings of Broadland District Council.

Exhibition of plans for the Royal Norwich Golf Club developmentPicture: ANTONY KELLY

Exhibition of plans for the Royal Norwich Golf Club developmentPicture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A decision on whether to grant permission for the first 108 homes of the 1,000-home development at the Royal Norwich Golf Club had been deferred at a meeting in April, before being given the greenlight today.

A motion to reject the project brought by Councillor Tony Adams, on the grounds of flood risk, was narrowly defeated by eight votes to six.

The lead local flood authority at Norfolk County Council had raised concerns about the risk of excess surface water to Woods Close and Hercules Road, and opposed the application until their demands of a drainage strategy were met.

Architects' image of the Persimmon development on the Royal Norwich Golf Club. Image: Concept Archit

Architects' image of the Persimmon development on the Royal Norwich Golf Club. Image: Concept Architecture - Credit: Concept Architecture


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But Helen Adcock, acting on behalf of Persimmon Homes, dismissed the objection by saying the authority were 'relatively new, and the Environment Agency would not have objected on the same basis'.

At today's meeting one of the main sticking points was congestion on Drayton High Road. Under the plans the road will become a dual carriageway but only within the boundaries of the new homes, leaving bottlenecks south towards Asda, and north past the Hospital Lane roundabout.

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Councillor Alan Mallett, for Coltishall, said: 'This scheme will affect a great many people. Highways say they can wave a magic wand called NDR and traffic will vanish. Dream on. It would make more sense to do a complete job at this stage rather than leave it for someone else in the future.'

Suggestions to use a compulsory purchase order to ensure the dual carriageway extended along the length of Drayton High Road at a cost of around £1m were knocked back. 'In terms of the pinch point we are in some difficulty because there is clear legislation a developer should not be seen to be buying their development by going over and above what is necessary,' said Ms Adcock.

The scheme was approved by nine votes to five.

Conditions imposed on the developers include the provision of a community building and car park, provided at the cost of eight affordable homes.

After refusing a 99 year lease for the practice pitches at the golf club to fulfil the formal recreation allocation for the site, Hellesdon Parish Council said the decision to grant the plan with no detailed provision was 'shameful'.

Hellesdon Parish Council chairman Shelagh Gurney said: 'We tried to do our best for the parish in terms of traffic solutions for Drayton High Road, the location of the primary school and provision of recreation space.

'We are concerned about the potential for flooding and it is awful that this application has put some of our residents at risk.'

Martin Davidson, land director for Persimmon Homes Anglia, said: 'We are very pleased that this development was given the go ahead at committee today.

'However we fully realise and appreciate that there are still many details to resolve and we will work very closely with both the District and Parish Councils to ensure that each outstanding issue is addressed.'

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