Former Eaton bank to become homes despite concern over road safety
- Credit: Liberal Democrats
Plans to redevelop a former city bank into homes have been given the green light by councillors.
An application to transform the former Barclays Bank in Church Lane, Eaton, into four homes and a commercial unit was submitted to Norwich City Council.
And the scheme, from Wisbech-based Ashlar Developments Ltd, would see the ex-bank building demolished to make way for the unit, a flat and three townhouses.
City Hall planning officials had recommended the scheme was approved, despite opposition from councillors and residents with fears over traffic and road safety.
But at a meeting of the council’s planning committee, held on Thursday, November 12, members unanimously backed the plans.
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The townhouses will have a private garden to the rear and parking access off Church Lane.
Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat councillor for Eaton, said: “This site is surrounded by two-storey houses. To say the three-storey homes are in keeping is just wrong. A reduced height is needed to blend in with the area.”
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She added: “Church Lane is an extremely busy road - it is the only access for over 800 homes, Eaton Primary School and Eaton activity centre. Many children are brought to school by car - some parents drive through four times a day.
“Traffic is backed up more than half a mile from the lights.”
But planner Lucy Smith, who spoke on behalf of the applicant, said the “high-quality” proposals would be a more “efficient use of the site” and there were “no objections from the statutory consultees”.
She said the proposal was for two-and-a-half storey buildings at the height of two-storey houses.
Labour councillor Ian Stutely added: “Previously when this was a bank getting out of that driveway was quite hairy at times.
“I do believe there could be a problem here with the parking.
“What kind of survey would Highways have done on this?”
But Mark Brown, area development manager, said the council wouldn’t ask for a transport assessment for four homes and a commercial unit.
“It wouldn’t be viable because it’s such a small scale,” he said.
And Keith Driver, planning committee chairman, said he would be voting in favour, and added: “It’s an opportunity to pull down a horrible building - it was even horrible when it was a Barclays bank.”
Councillors unanimously voted to approve the development.