Norwich homes plan moves a step closer

A long-held plan to build 1,000 new homes on the edge of Norwich has taken a significant step forward today with the selection of a developer to carry out the first phase of the project.

Norwich City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) have chosen Taylor Wimpey as the partner to deliver the first homes at the site in Three Score, Bowthorpe.

Backers say the scheme – the first of its kind in the country – will deliver much-needed homes and create hundreds of jobs while building work is carried out.

But the council has faced pressure to make sure proper community infrastructure and facilities are put in place and the development does not repeat the mistakes of the Queen's Hill development in Costessey.

Today there was a pledge the community will be properly consulted before a planning application is submitted in the autumn.

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City Hall was the first council in the country to enter into a strategic partnership with the HCA. The national housing and regeneration agency invested �8m into Norwich and the city council invested a number of sites for new homes around the city, which are being jointly developed.

The ground-breaking deal also saw funds made available to help with the refurbishment of the city's War Memorial.

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This week saw initial survey work start at Three Score, which is expected to provide around 1200 homes over the next decade, including 360 low cost properties for those in housing need.

The first topographical surveys to map out the land in detail and decide where is suitable for building started on Wednesday - with a formal planning application planned for the autumn.

In the meantime all sides pledged that they would listen to the views of the community about what the new development should look like.

Council leader Brenda Arthur said: 'The city council was the first council in the country to sign up to a strategic partnership with the HCA, and we can already see this historic deal coming to fruition with new homes, new jobs and long-term investment in Norwich for the people of the city.'

A planning application is due to be submitted in the autumn for the first phase of the scheme, which will be around 180 new homes, from one and two-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom detached houses.

Mike Goulding, area manager at the HCA, said: 'It's really important that we now deliver fantastic housing for Norwich, so we are looking for the first phase of development to set a benchmark for the rest of the homes to be built on this site.'

Bryn Maidman, managing director of Taylor Wimpey East Anglia, said the development would help create high-quality homes, and hundreds of local jobs during the lifetime of the construction scheme.

'Over the coming months, we will conduct an extensive public consultation to give the local community a chance to have their say on our preliminary plans for Phase One of Three Score Bowthorpe,' he added. 'These views will then be used to shape the final planning application, which we hope to submit later in the year.'

As well as the new homes, �5m capital from the council and HCA partnership has been used to deliver strategic regeneration projects including the �2.6m restoration of the war memorial and memorial gardens, �300,000 used to construct Norwich Skate Park, �250,000 to complete youth venue Open 24/7, �75,000 to complete St John's Cathedral visitor centre and �1.75m to eco-retrofit around 800 council properties.

What do you think? Write to Evening News Letters at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email

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