Hopes that 1,200 new homes at Colman’s site could form part of new gateway to Norwich

The entrance to Colman's in Norwich. Unilever and Britvic have now left the city. 
Photo: Denise Bradley.

The entrance to Colman's in Norwich. Unilever and Britvic have now left the city. Photo: Denise Bradley.

Archant © 2006

The former Colman’s site could form part of a new gateway to Norwich, with council leaders hoping thousands of new homes and jobs could be created to regenerate the area.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Jeff Taylor.Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Jeff Taylor.

A blueprint for where new homes and employment areas could take shape in Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk over the next 20 years has mooted the idea of a new East gateway to the city.

Council leaders and officers believe development of the East Gateway has the potential to act as a long-term catalyst for regeneration of the wider area.

They say it could pave the way for:

- A distinct, sustainable mixed-use community and new gateway quarter for the city, built at high densities, taking account of its setting adjacent to the Broads;

Plans for the scheme on the Deal Ground and May Gurney sites.  Pictured: Artist impressionPlans for the scheme on the Deal Ground and May Gurney sites. Pictured: Artist impression

- Help provide area-wide infrastructure and services, including employment opportunities, a new local centre, and a new primary school

- Protect and enhance heritage assets such as Carrow Abbey, Carrow House, Trowse Pumping Station and Thorpe Hall

- Allow scope for greater use of the Rivers Wensum and Yare for water-based recreation, leisure and tourism, including the potential inclusion of marinas and riverside moorings

- Regeneration in the Rouen Road area.

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It would include the Carrow Works site, which used to be home to Unilever and Britvic and where the famous mustard was produced for decades until its closure earlier this year.

The Greater Norwich Local Plan - which is being put together by Norwich City Council, Broadland District Council and South Norfolk Council, with help from Norfolk County Council - identifies the site, near Trowse, as having the potential for 1,200 new homes.

It also wants to see employment on part of the site.

Combined with the nearby Utilities site, the Deal Ground and the May Gurney site, which all have yet to be developed, council leaders and officers believe the area is ripe for more than 2,000 new homes to be built in the years ahead.

Inclusion in the plan would not guarantee planning permission would be granted, but it would smooth such schemes getting the go-ahead.

Permission to build 670 homes at the Deal Ground was given in 2013. But a bid for government cash to unlock infrastructure, including new bridges to better link the site to the city, was rejected last year.

But owner Andre Serruys has signalled he is still keen for housing to be built there and Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, wants to see the East Gateway idea become a reality - particularly given the loss of manufacturing jobs following Unilever and Britvic's departures.

He said: "Norwich is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK. The redevelopment of the former Colman's site is vital to providing a substantial number of homes of all tenures and good quality jobs to replace those lost when Unilever and Britvic ceased operation."

The Greater Norwich Development Partnership will consider the draft plan on Monday, January 6. If endorsed, it will then be considered by the city council and two district councils later that month. If approved, it will go out for public consultation at the end of January.

MORE: Revealed: Where thousands of new homes could be built in and around Norwich

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