Plans for coffee shop on former Sprowston Cold War site recommended for approval



Plans to turn a former Cold War monitoring site into a new Starbucks and retail unit on the edge of the city have been recommended for approval.

Tomorrow, Broadland District Council will decide on the future of the former Royal Observer Corps (ROC) headquarters on Chartwell Road, Sprowston.

Developer Sigma (Marlborough) is seeking permission to transform the area to include a 3,000 sq ft retail unit and a drive-through café.

But it has already met with objection from people living nearby and Sprowston Town Council.

Until 1991 the site served as the group headquarters of 55 ROC underground monitoring posts in Norfolk for 30 years.

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Since then, numerous applications have been made to redevelop the area, which planning officers described as vacant and overgrown.

The latest proposals would include a 29-space car park, with two disabled bays and access to the site via Chartwell Road.

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And while the café would be open from 7am to 10pm, developers are seeking permission to keep the retail unit open to 11pm daily.

As part of the plans, a new Toucan crossing and traffic island would be built on Chartwell Road, and there would be pedestrian access to Clabon Road.

Numerous objections have been made from people living nearby, mostly on traffic grounds.

Tim Howard, of Clabon Road, shared their concerns, claiming there could be more than 600,000 vehicles pulling out from Chartwell Road each year if the plans go ahead.

He added: 'It will put a considerable strain on the ring road and with Norwich being pedestrianised, traffic will be forced out of the city. The traffic authority has taken a lot of time to determine this matter, but they have not taken account of other traffic changes as far as I can see.'

The site was once the headquarters of the 6 Group Royal Observer Corps and opened in 1961. It was a two-storey semi-sunken structure that was used to analyse information received about fallout from posts elsewhere in Norfolk. The report states the bunker was removed.

What do you think? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, Norwich Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen

Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.

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