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Plans for 600 homes on edge of Norwich get green light

PUBLISHED: 06:30 18 August 2011 | UPDATED: 06:42 18 August 2011

The Postwick hub marked out across the fields. Picture: Mike Page

The Postwick hub marked out across the fields. Picture: Mike Page

© Mike Page all rights reserved. Before any use is made of this image including display, publication, broadcast, syndication or

Plans for 600 homes on the edge of Norwich have moved a major step closer, as have radical changes to a key junction on the A47 which will pave the way for the Northern Distributor Road.

At a packed meeting of Broadland District Council’s planning committee yesterday, two major schemes came under the spotlight.

One was an applcation by the Lothbury Trust, who own Broadland Business Park, to develop 57 hectares of farmland on the edge of Dussindale, Thorpe St Andrew.

The plans for land at Brook Farm and Laurel Farm are for 600 new homes, an extension to Broadland Business Park, a site for a railway halt, a link road and a local centre.

Alfred Townly, from Great and Little Plumstead Parish Council, said he could not support the application in its current form and said the number of homes should be restricted to 400.

Dennis Eley, from Thorpe St Andrew Town Council, said people who had bought homes in Dussindale did not expect to end up living next door to a housing estate.

But councillors unanimously agreed to hand permission to the council’s head of development management and conservation to grant permission, subject to a satisfactory section 106 agreement - including contributions the developer for education and affordable housing - being signed and certain conditions met.

Speaking afterwards, Simon Radford, chief executive of Lothbury Investment Management, said: ““We are pleased that finally after over two years, we have a resolution to approve.

“However, the detailed wording of the approval will need careful study before we can actually proceed and provide the new homes and new employment opportunities that this new development can bring.”

Councillors also agreed to hand officers the power to agree permission for the so-called Postwick Hub - changes to the junction with the A47.

The scheme was put forward by Norfolk County Council in partnership with Ifield Estates and, as well as alterations to the junction, it will also include an associated business park called Broadland Gate, including homes, retail, a hotel and a car showroom.

That scheme had previously been granted permission, but that was revoked after a challenge by Lothbury Trust and had to be considered again yesterday.

There had been calls for the committee not to discuss the plans, after Green county and city councillors reported the county council to the Audit Commission for using £170,000 of public money in preparing the environmental statement for the partnership scheme.

But Broadland officers said, having sought legal advice, there was no reason not to discuss the application and councillors voted 12 to two in favour, with one abstention.

Local parish and town councils had objected to those changes, with Mr Townly saying development should happen on the A11 corridor instead.

But Alan Proctor, leader of Broadland District Council, told his fellow councillors: “To me this application is looking very much to the future and that’s where the focus should remain.

“The interchange and the NDR are vital. I do not deny that there will be some impact on the area, but a balanced view needs to be taken.”
The changes to the Postwick interchange are widely seen as the first step towards the NDR. It would see slip roads connecting the A47 closed, with a series of new roundabouts created around the Broadland Gate business park.

The funding for the improvements to the hub, which would cost £21m, has yet to be confirmed.

The county council has been assured by the government that money is ring-fenced, but the cash has not yet been allocated.

• What do you think of the decisions? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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