Plans for new Asda store and district centre off Hall Road, Norwich are lodged with council

Plans for a new Asda store and district centre in south Norwich have moved a step closer after an application was lodged with the city council.

The supermarket giant is proposing to open a 35,000sq ft store on the former Bally shoe factory site off Hall Road, with a 350-space car park.

Up to 300 new jobs created at the Asda store would be supplemented by over 100 additional new jobs at the other proposed facilities, and the new store could be open by 2013.

The proposed district centre would also comprise retail units, business enterprise units, a family pub/restaurant, a gym, a community building and new public space including a woodland walk.

The plans have been welcomed by city councillor for the Lakenham ward, David Fairbairn, who said: 'I'm basically in favour of this proposal and the whole plan going ahead.

'I also welcome the 400 jobs it will create as it's useful to have some kind of employment in these times. My concerns have always been about traffic and planning, and I would like to see them provide some money to improve the Tuckswood roundabout, so pedestrians can cross more easily.'

The retailer held a public exhibition in December, which resulted in around 95pc of visitors backing the plans.

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Chris Martin, Asda senior property communications manager, said: 'Harford Place has long been ripe for redevelopment, and we are in a position to finally lead the scheme towards completion.

'Unfortunately, the previous scheme of which Asda would only have been a tenant fell through, but now as the applicant it is within our control to push on and deliver it, subject to planning permission. We are committed to this major investment into Norwich and delighted that so many people within the local community are behind us.

'The history of Harford Place is long and complex, and many local residents have voiced their frustration to us that the site still sits empty and far from fulfilling its potential. We believe very strongly in the long term benefits of this proposal and hope that we can now turn this long overdue regeneration project from a long-standing idea into a reality.'

As reported, the development plans for the decaying area had been on hold for more than two years after the recession put an original �122m plan for the Harford Place site on hold.

The 11.2ha site was among more than 20 assets handed to administrators Deloitte following the collapse of two subsidiaries of Norwich property firm Targetfollow in October 2010.

An outline planning consent to develop the site was previously granted to Targetfollow but the scheme never materialised.

More information on Asda's plans can be found at www.asdaharfordplace.co.uk.

- What do you think of the plans? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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