Road danger fears over housing plan for former bank

A decision is to be made on plan for the former Barclays Bank branch in Eaton to make way for homes.

A decision is to be made on plan for the former Barclays Bank branch in Eaton to make way for homes. Pic: Archant. - Credit: Archant

A bid to redevelop the site of a former bank which closed its doors two years ago has run into opposition.

Brian Watkins, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Eaton. Pic: Liberal Democrats.

Brian Watkins, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Eaton. Pic: Liberal Democrats. - Credit: Liberal Democrats

Plans to replace the former Barclays Bank in Church Lane, Eaton, with a commercial unit and four homes will be discussed by Norwich City Council’s planning committee on Thursday.

Wisbech-based Ashlar Developments Limited wants to demolish the empty bank to build the new unit, along with a flat above and three townhouses.

Officers at City Hall are recommending the committee approves the scheme, but Liberal Democrat councillors who represent Eaton, along with Eaton Village Residents Association, want it rejected.

Brian Watkins, county councillor for Eaton, said: “I am very concerned that the county highways authority thinks it is safe for there to be six car parking spaces with this development which means that drivers will reverse out onto Church Lane, opposite the entrance to Waitrose and just metres from the very busy traffic lights at Eaton crossroads.

“We have 800 houses whose only access is through these lights and a school which sees hundreds of cars through these traffic lights morning and evening.


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“There is always congestion at certain times of the day and when there is not congestion there is speeding in excess of 20mph. So, either way this is not a good arrangement to have in terms of road safety.”

James Wright, city councillor for Eaton echoed those concerns and added: “I believe these proposals are detrimental to those neighbouring properties in Tamarind Mews who will lose some of their privacy and some of their light.

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“I think a more sympathetic, smaller development would have protected the amenity of neighbours rather than this overdevelopment of the site.”

Highways officers said the road access was “acceptable”, while city council officers said analysis demonstrated “that there would be not be any significant or unacceptable overshadowing or loss of light to neighbouring dwellings”.

They said: “It is considered the scheme has been designed to sensitively reflect its surroundings and the increased scale and density would not be over-dominant or detrimental to the character or amenity of the area.”

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