Tombland £1.3m regeneration would just be two-thirds of a job done for council

PUBLISHED: 15:45 20 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:45 20 December 2018

Part of Tombland in Norwich is in line for a £1.3m shake-up. Picture: Simon Finlay

Part of Tombland in Norwich is in line for a £1.3m shake-up. Picture: Simon Finlay

It is a £1.3m scheme that would see a major overhaul to one of the most historic areas of Norwich city centre.

Mike Stonard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMike Stonard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And it follows a separate scheme two years earlier, which saw major changes made to traffic movement in the area - costing close to £1m as well.

However, if Norwich City Council’s latest regeneration plans for Tombland go ahead, it would only be two-thirds of the way to fulfilling the areas full potential.

This is the view of city councillor Mike Stonard, cabinet member for growth, as members of the Norwich highways agency committee agreed to press ahead with a scheme consultation.

The proposals would see the creation of a new open space in the area, removing the disused public toilets and closing the one-way road currently used for loading and as a taxi rank.

Mr Stonard said: “I am delighted this is something we are looking at and making better use of the Tombland area has been a personal ambition of mine for a long time.

“Although this is a traffic scheme, it has environmental merits as well and will maximise an area of the city of great historic importance. It is potentially very beautiful with important landmarks like the memorial, which is blighted by paraphernalia.

“I’m really excited by this, which would take us two-thirds of the way towards creating a Tombland of how it should be - a jewel in the crown of the city.”

Members of the committee agreed to start gathering views on the scheme, before a final proposal can be prepared.

Sue Sands, one of the committee’s city council members, raised concerns about an aspect of the scheme which would see part of Queen Street made two-way leading up to Ethelbert Gate. She had concerns about vehicles having difficulties turning when the gate is closed.

However, Bruce Bentley, one of the city council’s transportation planners, said: “We have learned with other schemes that once they are aware there is nowhere to go, they will not use the road.”

The consultation is scheduled to begin in the new year and will be accompanied by a public exhibition.

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