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Greens oppose city homes, offices plan

PUBLISHED: 18:49 15 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:01 22 October 2010

Plans to move dozens of families out of their homes to make way for a new housing and office complex in Norwich are set to be opposed at a crunch council meeting.

Plans to move dozens of families out of their homes to make way for a new housing and office complex in Norwich are set to be opposed at a crunch council meeting.

The Green Party is opposing the controversial proposal to demolish 50 council-owned flats on Barrack Street in order to build a new complex including new offices, a hotel and 200 new homes, 60 of which would be for housing association tenants.

The application, which would form part of a wider development that could see Home Office and Defra departments relocate from London to Norwich, will be considered by Norwich City Council's executive committee next Wednesday.

The Greens have raised three objections to the plans:

That not enough time has been allowed for consultation and consideration.

That the council would not have ownership of the new homes.

That by demolishing flats which are structurally sound, there will be an environmental impact in terms of making and transporting new materials for construction.

Tom Llewellyn, Green Party shadow executive member for housing, said: "We're unhappy that we were only told about the plans recently. The council decided last year to retain its housing stock.

"The executive should therefore reject the proposals on principle. With long waiting lists for council homes, we must protect the housing stock.

"The council flats do need investment but they are basically sound. Lack of investment in these homes by the council over time should not be an acceptable excuse for demolishing them," he added.

"It is a reason for putting in the investment in the current stock. The council is offering substantial compensation to residents of £4,500 for moving costs, but the higher rents of housing association homes compared to council properties will mean that the new Barrack Street tenants will lose out financially."

The Greens say they are not opposed to the development to create civil service buildings for Defra on the Jarrold site, but they argue that this could go ahead without the Barrack Street flats being demolished.

Steve Morphew, leader of the council, said that the existing buildings needed a lot of work done to them and they would still not come up to decent standards, whereas new buildings would be bigger and built to a higher environmental specification.


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