3,500 city home plan could cost £653m

How the Carrow Works site could look after redevelopment.

How the Carrow Works site could look after redevelopment - Credit: Allies and Morrison

The expected cost of building almost 3,500 homes on the edge of Norwich has been revealed - with more than half a billion pounds needed to complete the project.

On Tuesday evening, councillors on the Norwich City Council's sustainable development panel heard the latest updates on the Norwich East Masterplan - a blueprint to guide development on major city sites.

Four key sites are included in the plans – Carrow Works, home of the former Colman's and Britvic factories; the Deal Ground and May Gurney sites in Trowse; and the Utilities site between Thorpe Hamlet and Whitlingham. 

Previously, the plan was expected to deliver almost 4,000 homes but Martyn Saunders, from consultant Avison Young, gave the latest figure as 3,469, including 33pc affordable housing.

The Carrow Works site

The Carrow Works site. Pic: Fuel Properties. - Credit: Fuel Properties

In total, development is estimated to cost £652,594,795  - which includes £28.266m for infrastructure, £76.120m for flood mitigation and demolition and £548.109m for residential, employment and education. 

"There is an opportunity to be had here, there is value that the scheme generates," he said.

"However, that return is very small in light of what a commercial developer might look at."

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He added that significant upfront costs might put off private developers, and public intervention - through government grants, like the levelling up fund - may be needed.

Mr Saunders stressed the plans were still in the early phases but indicated pre-construction planning could take 12 months and development a further five-years to be completed.

Anthony Benson, from Allies and Morrison, the designers of the masterplan, said they had three main aims - celebrating the city's waterfront, connecting Norwich to the Broads and capturing the city's history.

However, he also stressed there were significant issues that would need to be overcome, particularly surrounding flooding and poor connections between sites.

Norwich city councillor Mike Stonard. Pic: Archant.

Norwich city councillor Mike Stonard. Pic: Archant. - Credit: Archant

Summing up councillors' thoughts, Mike Stonard, the chair of the panel, said they wanted to see more work with the Environment Agency around flood risks in the context of climate change.

He also stressed the importance of infrastructure, like doctors surgeries and schools, but acknowledged the masterplan could only recommend them, not deliver them.

How could the site look?

The planners split the sites into four "character" areas - Waterside East, Carrow Works, Waterside North and The Villages.

Waterside East would be an urban expansion to the city, using new and existing brick buildings, with the possibility of restricting cars during the day being explored.

Carrow Works centres around Carrow Abbey and Carrow House and would feature more "set-piece" buildings than Waterside East.

The Villages, on the former Deal Ground and May Gurney sites, aims to be more "domestic" with houses and apartments separating the city from the countryside.

Waterside North, on the east side the Utilities site, would feature a marina and riverside walk, alongside housing, businesses and flood mitigation.