Homes bid is set to revamp derelict site next to Novi Sad bridge in Norwich’s riverside area

An area of derelict wasteland close to the River Wensum could be transformed into a thriving residential development as part of plans to build nearly 70 homes.

Norwich City Council has received an application to construct a 66-unit residential development, with 50 undercroft parking spaces, on land adjacent to the Novi Sad Bridge, Wherry Road, Norwich.

The site, which is close to the Riverside leisure complex, has been a blot on the landscape for yeas with walls in the area proving a magnet for illegal graffiti taggers.

But it is hoped the proposals, put forward on behalf of the developers by London-based agents Generator Real Estate Solutions LLP, could help transform the area.

Lesley Grahame, a Green Norwich City councillor for Thorpe Hamlet ward, said: 'On the whole, residents are happy to see the site developed and would rather see good quality housing than derelict land which is fenced off. People are happy to see houses built and derelict land developed and we would support developing land that has been allocated and does have planning permission before we look at more greenfield sites.'

The concrete framed structure, constructed of insulated block work, will have an undercroft car park with exterior lighting to the car park area and CCTV.

If the proposals, which are to be determined by the council by the end of March, are given the green light, the building work is expected to take around 18 months, with a tower crane to be used to lift materials onto the site during construction.

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The derelict area was given a bit of a clean up in June last year as part of the Evening News's Graffitibusters campaign which aims to remove unsightly graffiti tags from the city.

The campaign, which is being supported by Norwich police, Central Norwich Citizens Forum, Norwich City Council and the Norwich City Centre Partnership, has urged people to donate money, paint or time to help keep the streets clean.

Six volunteers, including a young offender who had been ordered to help out as part of his punishment, joined PCSOs Luke Phillips, Melanie Duckett and Steve Smith at the clean-up following similar events elsewhere in the city.

The �1.4m Novi Sad Friendship Bridge, which was unveiled in November 2001 and links King Street to the Riverside development, honours the Serbian city's links with twin city Norwich which go back more than 40 years.

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