EveningNews24

Artist's impression of the proposed Asda at the Bally Shoe Factory in Norwich

Asda plans recommended for approval ahead of crunch meeting

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
6.30 AM

City councillors will tomorrow be recommended to approve plans for the new £122m Asda development in Norwich.

The city council planning committee will discuss the plans at its monthly meeting at City Hall – plans which were controversially rejected by the same committee in September.

Developers say as many as 400 jobs could be created if the plans for the former Bally Shoe factory site, near Tuckswood, are given the go-ahead.

The plans for the 5,796 sq m Asda superstore also include a gym, pub, community centre, 334-space car park and other shops at the derelict site on Hall Road.

The plans which will be discussed are identical to those which were rejected by the committee in September, when the application was refused by five votes to four, despite being recommended for approval.

The recommendation to grant the permission comes with conditions however.

Section 106 planning obligations are being recommended, including £915,800 transport contributions and a guarantee that the proposed community centre will be built.

To further strengthen the S106 conditions, the officers are also recommending the approval requires “phasing conditions” so that the site’s retail units, pub or restaurant building, gym, community centre and three of the four employment units are completed prior to the Asda superstore starting trading.

Summing up their recommendation, the officers cite concerns about the size of the superstore and its car park on what is supposed to become a “district centre”, as well as worries about the proposed removal of a group of protected trees and the lack of a Hall Road entrance to the site.

However, with the report also suggesting 300 “full-time equivalent” jobs could be created at the supermarket and an estimated further 125 across the rest of the development, the officers are again recommending the approval of the plans.

The report concludes: “This is a finely balanced decision and on balance it is considered that the economic and community benefits delivered by the proposal outweigh the shortfalls of the proposals.” - To find out the committee’s decision as it happens, follow our live coverage of the meeting at www.eveningnews24.co.uk