12 things you’ll be able to do in Norwich by 2020

Norwich in 2020: Aviation Academy, Norwich Castle transformation and NDR artwork. (L-R)

Norwich in 2020: Aviation Academy, Norwich Castle transformation and NDR artwork. (L-R) - Credit: Archant

We've looked into our crystal ball and found 12 things you will be able to do in Norwich by 2020 which you can't do now - if all of these plans go ahead.

• Travel to London in 90 minutes

Before the 2015 General Election, Chancellor George Osborne promised to deliver Norwich in 90, a rail upgrade that would transform the way thousands of passengers in East Anglia travel each day by making the journey between Norwich and London a fixed 90 minutes, instead of roughly two hours.

Several of Network Rail's developments have been halted as they review their spending plans up to 2019 and we may be waiting longer than 2020 for this one, but fingers crossed...


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• Take an uninterrupted stroll along the river

Norwich City Council is working in partnership with the Broads Authority, Norfolk County Council, the Wensum River Parkway Partnership and Environment Agency to complete the missing links of the Riverside Walk along the Wensum. These missing sections are located between Fye Bridge and Whitefriars, between St George's Bridge and Duke Street Bridge, around The Playhouse and on Fishergate and when complete you'll be able to walk along the Wensum.

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More is also being done to encourage the use of small craft on the river, new canoe launch points and better mooring facilities have been proposed so far.

• Eat at Norwich's first rooftop restaurant

The former Rose Lane Business Centre, which has been re-branded as The Union Building, has been granted permission by Norwich City Council to transform their fifth floor into a restaurant and bar which, once completed, would be the first rooftop restaurant the city has ever had.

• See Norwich Castle as it used to look

The Heritage Lottery Fund have agreed to provide £462,400 to transform Norwich Castle into one of the region's biggest tourist attractions by 2020. This transformation would see the castle revert back to its Norman roots, with the return of its main floor and a re-created Great Hall. Building work is scheduled to commence in 2018.

• Shop in a new retail park

Development is starting on a large plot of land next to Sweet Briar Retail Park on the ring road The present retail park, home to the likes of IKEA and an M&S Foodhall, would be dwarfed by the new site, which is 25-acres. The first store set to take up residence is Wickes, which will relocate from Drayton Road, and is planned to open in October this year.

• Drive along the NDR

Work on Norwich's Northern Distributor Road is currently underway. The 20km dual carriageway route, which will take drivers from the Postwick junction of the A47 to the A1067 north of Taverham is scheduled to be completed by February 2018.

• Live in one of the most environmentally-friendly council homes in the city

Work began earlier this month on ten flats in Hansard Close in Mile Cross, which will be the first set of council-owned properties built in the city to Passivhaus standard. The German term refers to a meticulous standard of energy efficiency in a building. Features of a Passivhaus home include triple glazed windows and doors with air-seals and superinsulation.

• Watch Premier League football at Carrow Road once more...

...or for the pessimists, League One football.

• Study to become a pilot

A £12.23m centre on the edge of Norwich International Airport is being built and is looking to open its doors to the next generation of pilots and engineers in September 2017. The facility will offer students 26 courses and will have its own airliner and 'air-ready' helicopter.

• Vote for East Anglia's first elected mayor

Earlier this year, the Chancellor announced plans for devolved powers for East Anglia, which would include an elected mayor for Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk. The councils have until the end of June to agree to the devolution deal, and if they decide to do so the counties will vote for an elected mayor will be in place by 2017. Cambridgeshire, however, may opt to go for its own devolution deal without Norfolk and Suffolk.

• Walk down the middle of Prince of Wales Road (without being run over)

Within two years, Prince of Wales Road could be permanently closed to all traffic, except for cyclists, taxis and busses. Other traffic would be diverted along Rose Lane once it had been converted into a two-way system.

• Cycle around the whole city on bike paths

Norwich City Council are continuing with their Cycle City Ambition and Pedalways project in an attempt to double levels of cycling in the city over the next few years. Two more existing cycle routes are to be improved in Norwich, to connect cyclists to the surrounding towns within a safe commuting distance.

• Which development would you most like to see in Norwich in 2020? Let us know in the comments below.

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