Green light for demolition of more than 130 Norwich garages

Plans to demolish more than 130 garages around Norwich have been given the go-ahead, as part of a scheme to build a hundred affordable homes in the city.

As reported in the Evening News, Norwich City Council has earmarked 965 garages to be bulldozed so housing associations can build affordable homes.

The council says more than a third of the 4,368 garages it owns around Norwich are empty and at a time when the city's population is growing, it makes sense for them to make way for new homes.

As part of a multi-million pound deal with the Homes and Communities Agency, the council is selling the sites to Orwell Housing Association to build affordable homes.

At a meeting of the city council's planning committee yesterday, it was agreed that another five sites in the city, which currently have 137 garages on them, can be knocked down so that 18 affordable homes can be built.

The most contentious of the applications was on land off The Avenues in Earlham, where 47 garages are to be replaced with six two-bed homes.

Bert Bremner, pictured, Labour city councillor for university ward, was worried that a lack of front gardens for the proposed homes, which would instead have an open area in front of them, could lead to anti-social behaviour.

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He pointed to a similar scheme in Elizabeth Fry Road, where he said parents were afraid to let their children out of their front door as it led straight into the street and youngsters used doors and windows as football goals. Mr Bremner said: 'We cannot have paths going right up to the front doors of these homes. We have had trouble with anti-social behaviour in The Avenues and they would find this an open space they might abuse.'

Peter Wells, agent for Orwell Housing, said the developer could find a way to move the footpath further away from the front doors, so councillors approved the scheme. The other schemes approved were: the demolition of 14 garages in Pelham Road, in the north of the city, to make way for five homes; replacing 32 garages in Jamieson Place in Wensum ward, so three homes can be built; knocking down 14 garages in Pilling Park Road in Crome ward, to build two homes and a scheme to build four homes by knocking down garages in Lakenham Road, Tuckswood.

Orwell Housing Association was also given permission to build five homes on land at the corner of Starling Road and Magpie Road in the north of the city and for eight one-bedroom flats to replace four homes in Beecheno Road, Bowthorpe.

Do you think it is right that garages are demolished to make way for affordable homes? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email