New Norwich superstore gets green light
16:09 07 February 2014
Norwich is to get a new Morrisons supermarket, creating up to 250 jobs, after councillors granted planning permission for the scheme.
Members of Norwich City Council’s planning committee agreed yesterday to give the go-ahead for the store, at the Goff Petroleum and former Hartwells Garage site in Aylsham Road.
The plans which have been approved are a revised version of a previous scheme, which met with opposition when it was lodged in 2012.
Objectors had highlighted increased traffic, the number of existing supermarkets and the impact on small businesses in the area, while English Heritage had also raised concerns over the impact on nearby St Catherine’s Church and the plans were withdrawn.
However, George J Goff Limited last month submitted a revised planning application to Norwich City Council in January, saying it had listened to the concerns raised and reconfigured the layout for the proposed store.
An update leaflet was distributed to more than 9,000 residential and business properties.
At yesterday’s meeting, councillors heard there had been five letters of objection and seven in support of the scheme, with a publicity initiative by the applicant generating 36 further separate letters of support.
English Heritage told the council that, following the changes made, it had no objection to the scheme.
In a report which came before councillors, officers said: “The proposed store would add further to the amount of committed and trading convenience goods floorspace in the Norwich area, which already significantly exceeds the short and medium-term forecasts of need and capacity for such floorspace identified in a 2007 study.”
But they said there was no basis in national or local policy to turn down such a proposal because of a perceived lack of need and that accessible and sustainably located proposals should be accepted.
Officers said there was no evidence to suggest the news store would have a significantly detrimental impact on the city centre or other district and local centres.
A spokesman for Goff Petroleum said: “We are extremely happy with the result from the planning committee meeting and we look forward to opening a new Morrisons foodstore on Aylsham Road in due course.”
It recently emerged that Morrisons wants to open another store next to the B&Q store off Hall Road.
• What do you think of the plans? Write to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.