Site earmarked for City-centre school
12:52 12 February 2013
Education bosses have identified where a new primary school should be built if hundreds of extra houses are constructed in Norwich.
Norfolk County Council has objected to land in Garden Street, off Rouen Road, Norwich, being earmarked for around 100 houses plus business or office units.
The authority has warned if the land is not protected for a potential primary school then it will struggle to find a suitable alternative site to cater for Norwich’s potential population surge.
The new school would offer places to 210 pupils.
Norwich City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency have started work on ambitious proposals to regenerate the south city area, which includes King Street, Rouen Road and Argyle Street.
Hundreds more homes could also be built on a number of other nearby sites, including Rose Lane, Ber Street and the Deal Ground site at Whitlingham.
These feature in city council draft plans listing areas of land regarded as suitable for new homes.
An inquiry on Norwich’s site allocation list will be held this summer, with the county council indicating it wants to speak against the proposed use of Garden Street.
Chris Hey, of the county council’s children’s services department, wrote: “Norfolk County Council [children’s services] has identified the need for an additional new school in the city centre due to demographic and housing growth and wish for this site to be safeguarded for the potential use of a primary sector school to cater for the demand for school places in the area.
“If the site is not safeguarded for school use it is unlikely that an alternative suitable site could be found within an appropriate area of the city.”
The 1.08-hectare site is currently owned by the city council. Half of the land is a car park while the other half is used by businesses.
City council documents outlining its proposed use for at least 100 houses state: “The large surface car park, although presenting a negative view along Rouen Road, serves an important function in this part of the city centre and public parking should be incorporated into redevelopment, possibly by incorporating it into the lower levels with a visual curtain of active frontage to the street.
“Redevelopment should also cater for the needs of small businesses in the city centre area by providing small business units as part of the comprehensive development.”