Housing scheme aims to be eco-friendly

MARK NICHOLLS A major new housing scheme on the outskirts of Norwich could point the way for more environmentally-friendly developments.

MARK NICHOLLS

A major new housing scheme on the outskirts of Norwich could point the way for more environmentally-friendly developments.

Almost 80 acres of housing land at Three Score in Bowthorpe is to be the site for a sustainable development, targeting major environmental issues, including the need to reduce carbon emissions.

Norwich City Council is selling the land and stipulating that all 1200 houses planned for the site - of which 300 are to be affordable homes - have to be built to Government Code for Sustainable Homes level three standards. Emphasis is also to be given to pedestrian and cycle movement and the use of public transport.

Norwich has to meet Government growth targets of 33,000 homes and 36,000 jobs by 2021, but such growth must be sustainable and responsible, and Three Score will be seen as the benchmark for future developments.

Council leader Steve Morphew said: “Under government guidelines, affordable housing has to comply with the code's level three standards while the minimum standard for private homes is lower. We want to specify that all the homes built on that site reach level three.

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“We want to make a real statement on standards for the environment and we are looking for increases in the number of environmentally-friendly houses.

“This development, which also includes prioritising sustainable transport and drainage systems,

will help us address climate change - a very real environmental challenge.”

At 79 acres, Three Score is the largest piece of land to become available to developers in Norwich for many years and the last chunk to be developed in Bowthorpe.

While primarily residential, with a village green, community centre and communal open spaces, there will also be allotments.

Developers have been invited to bid for the land, with bids considered

by the executive committee in September.

Money from the sale will be used to fund other city projects. An outline application for the homes is to go to the council's planning committee on Thursday.

Commenting on the outline plan for the Three Score development, Bowthorpe councillor and Conservative Group Leader Antony Little said: “It is great that environmental standards will be high - it will help save money on household bills for new residents and also put Norwich City Council's eco-credentials into action.”

He said that while walking should be encouraged “we shouldn't make driving impossible,” and added: “Conservative councillors will study the plans at every stage to ensure mistakes made with the road design in the existing developed Three Score aren't repeated.”