‘Once in a generation’ plans for Colmans site take step forward

Previous plans for the Deal Ground site. Pic: Archant Library.

Previous plans for the Deal Ground site. Pic: Archant Library. - Credit: Norwich City Council

A “once in a generation” vision to transform an industrial area with up to 4,000 homes and 6,000 jobs has taken a step forwards.

Plans to spend some half a million pounds on a masterplan for a 123 acre area to the east of Norwich, including the old Carrow Works, Deal and Utilities sites have been agreed by the city council.

Councillors hope to create new homes and thousands of jobs in the area, which became available for development after Unilver and Britvic vacated the former Colman’s factory site.

READ MORE: Hopes Colman’s site could be at heart of scheme for 4,000 homes and 6,000 jobs

At a cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, June 10, Norwich city councillors agreed to create the East Norwich Partnership to plan for the mixed-use residential area.

The new public-private sector group will lead the transformation into a new business quarter, but development relies on the Trowse railway bridge being improved.

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Council leader and Crome ward member Alan Waters said the plans were “a once in a generation opportunity” which “set out East Norwich as the new future productive quarter of the city’s growth.. and utilises the full development potential of the site”.

Sandra Bogelein, leader of the Green Party group and city councillor for Mancroft ward, said she backed the development in principle but was “disappointed to learn that none of the councillors from the wards the three sites fall into have been informed or included in the discussions”.

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She asked the council to commit to community representation.

While James Wright, leader of the Liberal Democrat group and city councillor for Eaton ward, added: “I think this is a really exciting project. Can we make sure that Trowse primary school are included in discussions?”

Graham Nelson, the council’s director of place, said: “What we need to do is develop a degree of momentum through this process.

“We had to start with the landowners so we can engage with organisations like Homes England.”

And Mike Stonard, cabinet member for sustainable growth and Catton Grove ward member, said the county council would ensure schools were consulted as part of the planning process.

In a report on the plans, council officers described the site as a possible “highly sustainable new quarter for the city, linking the city centre with the Broads, and creating a highly attractive location” and said “riverside regeneration potential” should be maximised.

READ MORE: Council agree £21m loan to firm which lost £6m as boss says ‘lessons learnt’

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