Old Catton to take first batch of 3,500 home development north of Norwich
- Credit: Supplied
Old Catton will now bear the brunt of the first homes to be built as part of a 3,500 home development to the north of Norwich as developers say they cannot fund infrastructure any other way.
The development around Beeston Park has been given outline planning permission for more than 3,500 homes, two primary schools, shops and restaurants.
Due to come in three phases, beginning north of Sprowston, developers Beyond Green Developments returned to Broadland District Council planning committee asking for the phases to be reversed.
It means the western phase of 700 homes, north of Old Catton, will now be built first, with money accrued from that housing used to pay for the main infrastructure of the project.
It will be followed by a new primary school, and around 112,000 square metres of open space along with a health centre and other commercial buildings.
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Barry Leggett, parish councillor for Old Catton, told the committee they raised no objection, but worried 'the increase in traffic will cause highways concerns'.
'The significant impact of increased traffic flow is of grave concern to our community,' he said.
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'The original proposal said Old Catton would be the last phase and infrastructure would allow the traffic to travel around the new area rather than the existing road network of Old Catton.'
Karen Vincent, district councillor for Old Catton and Sprowston West ward, echoed the concerns.
'The proposal fails to preserve the Old Catton conservation area,' she said.
'The danger at the moment is traffic will be channelled down there and there will be rat-running through the conservation area.
'This needs to be supported but should be done in the right way. This seems to be purely a commercial choice.
'We have two further developments in Spixworth that will be using this road, and it is these three developments together that will have an impact. It is in the order of 1,298 homes.
'Without an east to west link road all this traffic will naturally have to travel through Spixworth Road, which is through the centre of the conservation area.'
Nigel Murphy, of Beyond Green Developments, said the proposal was about 'getting much-needed housing built quickly'.
'We have submitted this application to speed up delivery of this project which was brought forward with great care from everyone involved to make sure it was a high quality scheme,' he said.
'The original plan remains completely unchanged and we remain fully committed to the outcome. This is about by using areas that do not have large infrastructure requirements.
'That does mean development in Old Catton of some scale earlier than expected. The impacts are acceptable and can be mitigated.'
Councillors voted unanimously to approve the application and the developers have three years to bring forward the first reserved matters application.
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