76-home plan approved despite police crime concerns

Mike Stonard, chairman of the Norwich Regeneration Company, cuts the ribbon to open the first of the

Mike Stonard, chairman of the Norwich Regeneration Company, cuts the ribbon at Rayne Park, Bowthorpe, an earlier stage of the development - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

Plans for 76 homes have been approved despite concerns from police it will lead to an increase in crime and antisocial behaviour.  

Outline planning permission for the homes on Three Score, south of Clover Hill in Bowthorpe ward, was first approved in 2013, as part of a 1,000-home development.

The first phase of development, including a care village, is now complete, with the council returning to the planning committee to seek permission for the Three Score site to go ahead.

Ahead of Thursday's meeting, Norfolk police raised concerns about the scheme, particularly over the rear parking areas, which they said would put "additional strain" on resources.

The leader of Norwich City Council says the government must make more money available or local counc

Norwich City Council planning committee heard the plans on Thursday - Credit: EDP pics © 2007

A police liaison officer said: "Encouraging an ‘active street scene’ among a rear parking area is not recommended due to the potential to generate crime and anti-social behaviour, the positioning of the pocket park adjacent to the rear of dwellings can increase the potential for crime and complaints from increase noise and nuisance, limited surveillance from rear of flats over the parking area.”

Planning officer Sarah Hinchcliffe said she had an extensive conversation with the police.

“The concern was that the site was too permeable, that you can get through the site in lots of ways, but that was part of the point of the layout," she said.

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“They don’t like the use of the rear parking but it is a necessity in this case because of the access arrangements.” 

Ms Hinchcliffe added she believed the site to have sufficient surveillance and it was not an “out of the way forgotten area”, adding that the layout of the site will encourage people to pass through. 

Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton. Pic: Sonya Duncan.

Councillor Judith Lubbock. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Councillor Judith Lubbock said she felt “uncomfortable” with the committee not taking notice of the police response and the suggestion that it would be left to police to find more resources. 

The meeting descended into a terse political exchange, with Labour councillors frustrated at Green members over their questions about whether there could be more climate, biodiversity and ecological consideration given in the plans. 

Mike Sands argued the Bowthorpe ward was one of the greenest in the city, saying he was “disappointed” in some of their comments. 

Green Party leader, Sandra Bogelein, said the committee should be politically neutral, but Mr Sands insisted he was “criticising your criticism” of the development. 

The plans were unanimously approved.