More than 3,000 jobs could be created at new Norwich business park
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
A new business park – said to be four times larger than any other in Norwich – could create thousands of jobs and contribute more than £100m to the local economy.
Norwich Airport has submitted an application that would see the north-east corner of its site transformed into a 115-acre business park.
The majority of the new development, known as Imperial Park, would be made available to companies outside the aviation sector.
A Norwich Airport spokesman said the proposals could 'unlock' 3,300 new jobs and contribute £106m to Norfolk's economy.
The business park is a revival of plans for an aeropark at the same site, which initially received planning permission in 2013.
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The original scheme aimed to create 95,035 sqm (23 acres) of 'aviation-related employment floorspace', but the plans were shelved in 2015.
Now, the airport has sought to vary the planning conditions of an updated permission from 2016, allowing the site to be opened up to non-aviation companies.
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A planning statement lodged with Broadland District Council said the new proposals could create an additional 300 jobs compared to the original scheme.
A Norwich Airport spokesman said: 'This application is to vary the condition of the existing Imperial Park planning consent from 2016 beyond aviation-only use.
'This will allow the site to attract a wider range of potential end users and means we are not reliant on a single sector to help forward-fund the necessary infrastructure to unlock the site's significant economic benefit potential.'
The changes would see 30,000 sqm of floor space dedicated to the aviation sector, and 65,035 sqm open to other businesses.
Property consultant Bidwells said the most appropriate initial development would be a petrol station and a fast food restaurant.
Its report, contained within the airport's planning application, said: 'The ability to provide a hotel and pub is considered important for the business park, but the timing of this will be determined to some extent by the occupiers on the park.'
Bidwells said the proposed park, which will be accessed via the A140 Holt Road roundabout, is four times larger than the next biggest site.
The proposals are part of the airport's published draft masterplan, which covers its anticipated development up to 2045.
An airport spokesman said its Imperial Park plans would provide 'in excess' of £1m to the local authority through Community Infrastructure Levy payments.
While the overall business park site covers 115 acres, the developed area for the buildings alone covers 23 acres.
An airport spokesman said: 'If agreed we believe the site could unlock 3,300 new jobs, [and] up to £106m of net GVA (Gross Value Added).'