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Fresh attempt to get 670 homes built on edge of Norwich

Revised plans for the scheme on the Deal Ground and May Gurney sites have been submitted. Pictured: Artist impression.

Revised plans for the scheme on the Deal Ground and May Gurney sites have been submitted. Pictured: Artist impression.

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Developers behind ambitious multi-million pound plans to build 670 homes on the largest undeveloped brownfield site in Norwich are hoping a fresh application will kickstart the scheme.

Plans to transform the Deal Ground, between Trowse and Whitlingham, and the nearby May Gurney site were first lodged back in 2010.

The £110m scheme was revived last summer when a new application was lodged but the plans got stuck in planning limbo, with negotiations having to take place on issues such as overhead power lines and access to the site.

But now, a new application for the sites has been submitted to Norwich City Council and South Norfolk Council by Lanpro Services, on behalf of Norfolk-based developer Serruys Property Company.

Permission is being sought for up to 670 homes, a local centre including commercial units, a pub, a restaurant, access roads, a car park and to use a Grade II listed kiln for bats.

The proposal would involve the demolition of all existing buildings within the May Gurney site and an access bridge over the River Yare.

A pedestrian, cycle and emergency access bridge, to be built over the River Wensum connecting to Hardy Road, is also the subject of a separate application to Norwich City Council and the Broads Authority.

The developer has also submitted a map to the councils which shows how the development could be built in phases, depending on the market for housing at the time.

While the developers did not want to speak to the Norwich Evening News, in their submission to the council, they stated: “The development will be an exemplar brownfield redevelopment and showcase of 21st century planning” which would “help to deliver regeneration of the eastern edges of Norwich”.

Last year the scheme appeared to receive a boost when the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Board made an offer “in principle” of £3.5m towards the construction of a spine road from The Street, in Trowse, to a bridge springing point on the south bank of the River Wensum.

But the proposals have caused controversy, A number of people who live in Trowse and Whitlingham have objected to the plans, fearing that the extra traffic will add to their struggle to get out of the village in the morning rush hour.

And the Norwich Rivers Heritage Group has also raised concerns. Matthew Williams, chairman, said in his objection to the council: “Our group’s view remains unchanged that the proposed development is commercial opportunism at an extreme level, and a very long way from representing a genuine long-term sustainable solution on this important site.”

The Deal Ground site has been left vacant for three decades and was formerly used for workshops and the manufacturing of packing cases associated with Reckitt and Colman.

Because the sites straddle areas covered by Norwich City Council and South Norfolk Council, the application has to be approved by both councils.

The applications, for the development itself and for the bridge, will be considered by planning committees at the relevant authorities at dates to be fixed.

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