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Developers' cash funds Norwich parks

PUBLISHED: 06:52 08 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:38 02 July 2010

Sarah Hall

New parks will be created, pedestrian safety improved and better cycle routes provided thanks to contributions of more than £270,000 from developers who have secured planning permission around Norwich.

New parks will be created, pedestrian safety improved and better cycle routes provided thanks to contributions of more than £270,000 from developers who have secured planning permission around Norwich.

But council leaders today warned the slowdown in the building of new homes during the recession meant contributions from developers might not be so forthcoming in the years ahead.

The pot of cash and where it is earmarked to be spent was revealed when Norwich City Council agreed its budget for the next 12 months.

The money has been built up because, when developers are granted planning permission for new homes around the city, officers insert clauses insisting they make cash contributions - known as section 106 agreements - to benefit the local community.

Alan Waters, the city council's executive member for corporate resources and governance, said: “These ones are projects which are going to go ahead.

“When you look at where we can spend at the moment, it's pretty tight, but through the good years we build up a pot from these contributions for various things.

“That money will sustain us for a couple of years, but in the end, what we need is a revival in the local economy because we need developers to be developing to get more section 106 money.”

Parks which will benefit include one in Peterson Road, Mile Cross, where £8,500 obtained after a development built in Havers Road, will be used to replace outdated play equipment and Eaton Park, where £8,550 from developments in Sunningdale and Earlham Road will be spent on improvements.

At Stirling Road, Hellesdon, a sum of £80,000 secured from the building of new homes in Fifers Lane will be used to build a new play area, while £15,000 from the same development will be added to just under £55,000 obtained from the redevelopment of the former officer's mess in Fifers Lane to improve the play area and skate park next to Fiddlewood Community Centre.

At Pointers Field in Catton Grove £20,000 obtained from a development in Aylsham Road will be put towards the creation of a new 'natural play' park, subject to consultation with local people.

Cash is also earmarked to go towards a zebra crossing in Rosary Road, Thorpe Hamlet and an upgrade of the pelican crossing in Rider Haggard Road and Heartsease Lane.

Just over £96,000 will also go towards measures to encourage walking and cycling in the north of the city, including new cycle routes and pedestrian crossings.

That cash comes from schemes such as the Premier Travel Inn at Norwich International Airport and the redevelopment of the former Anglia Windows site at Fifers Lane.

Are you working on a project to improve the area where you live? Call Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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