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£230,000 boost for green schemes in and around Norwich

PUBLISHED: 17:07 31 July 2014 | UPDATED: 17:38 31 July 2014

Youngsters enjoy Marston Marsh, which is earmarked for improvements through a new 'tax' on developers. Photo by Simon Finlay

Youngsters enjoy Marston Marsh, which is earmarked for improvements through a new 'tax' on developers. Photo by Simon Finlay

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A string of green schemes, including nature reserves and a cycle route, have had £230,000 of money earmarked for them out of a new ‘tax’ on development in and around Norwich.

The new community infrastructure levy is likely to generate millions of pounds in Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk.

It means developers will have to pay £75 per square metre for residential properties closest to the city, and £50 in the more rural parts of Broadland and South Norfolk.

That money will be used to pay for infrastructure which new development in the Greater Norwich area will need, including new schools and major schemes such as the Norwich Northern Distributor Road and the Long Stratton bypass.

But the money is also meant for smaller schemes and councillors yesterday agreed that just over £230,000 of the projected £841,000 which will be raised through the levy by the end of March next year should be spent on seven projects.

They are:

• Opening up Harrison’s Plantation, The Brecks and Boar Plantation in Sprowston to public access

• Enhancing Danby Wood Local Nature Reserve, in Marston Lane, Norwich

• Enhancing Marston Marsh Local Nature Reserve, also off Marston Lane, Norwich

• Improving Earlham Millennium Green, to help it cope with the extra use which will be created once more homes are built at Three Score

• Improving Norwich’s Riverside Walk, including repairing river banks, new interpretation signs and more seating

• Improving Marriott’s Way from Thorpe Marriott to Norwich, with better signs and improvements to the cycle path

• A health walks project for patients and visitors at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital - to provide connections between the Yare Valley and the wider countryside

The schemes got agreement in principle at the inaugural meeting of the Greater Norwich Growth Board today, which considered them as part of its annual growth programme for 2014/15.

The board is made up of councillors from Norwich City, Norfolk County, South Norfolk and Broadland District Councils, as well as the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

The annual growth plan will now go back before the individual councils and a new business plan will be agreed each year.

Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council and chairman of the growth board, said: “This is where we start to spend the money we have got and really make a difference in the Greater Norwich area. I am delighted that these schemes can come forward.”

John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said while it was a “thin list”, given the levy is in its infancy it was a good start. “It is a good foundation to be laid,” he said.

• What infrastructure do you think is needed in and around Norwich? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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