Anger at Costessey homes plan

Sarah HallAngry families are battling to block plans to build up to 70 homes on the outskirts of Norwich - saying the development would ruin a river valley and make roads dangerous.Sarah Hall

Angry families are battling to block plans to build up to 70 homes on the outskirts of Norwich - saying the development would ruin a river valley and make roads dangerous.

Costessey Parish Council, The Costessey Society and The Wensum Valley Trust have all objected to a proposal to build the new homes on land off Townhouse Road in Costessey.

The application for outline planning permission, which also includes a new access road, has been lodged with South Norfolk Council by Martin Green and Norwich Consolidated Charities, but has sparked anger.

Costessey Parish Council is recommending the scheme be turned down for a string of reasons, while a number of individuals have penned letters to the council urging the planning committee to reject the plans.

Rachel Jackson, clerk of Costessey Parish Council, said there was a blind bend close to the proposed entrance to the site and the application did not properly address the extra traffic which would be created in Townhouse Road.

She said: 'Currently, at morning peak the queue of traffic waiting to cross from Norwich Road onto Dereham Road can tail back to the Sunny Grove junction.

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'These queues already lead to a considerable amount of rat-running through the residential streets of Costessey. Further development can only lead to yet more traffic and further delays, congestion and the harm to the Costessey environment of standing traffic.'

She added the development would be an eyesore in the River Tud valley and said: 'The claim that this site should be allocated as South Norfolk has not 'demonstrated an up-to-date five year supply of deliverable sites' should not mean that any undeveloped land, however unsuitable and detrimental to the environment and community in which it stands, should be allocated for development.'

The Wensum Valley Trust raised similar concerns about the intrusion into the River Tud valley, while Glenys Dole, who lives at Carrs Hill House, right next to the proposed development, said: 'This will be the first development on a greenfield site in the river valley which gives Costessey and this area west of Norwich its special character.

'The view across the valley which gives the residents, in particular of New Costessey, a sense of openness and space, will be blocked by too many unsuitably tall modern houses designed and built only to meet current targets, not the character of the area.'

A spokesman for Bidwells, which is the agent acting on behalf of the applicant, said they did not wish to comment ahead of the application being discussed at a planning meeting.

Derek Blake, South Norfolk Council's cabinet member for planning, recently warned 'the gannets are gathering' in South Norfolk, with a number of companies submitting speculative submissions for development.

Companies have been 'testing the water' with submissions for 3,000 new homes in Wymondham and 4,000 in Hethersett - both higher amounts than set out in the Joint Core Strategy, the blueprint for development in the area.

Are you fighting a planning application where you live? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email