Major step forward for transformation of east Norwich

Mike Stonard talks about the next stages of the Norwich East Masterplan

Mike Stonard talks about the next stages of the Norwich East Masterplan - Credit: Suplied

A “once in a generation” chance to build thousands of homes and create jobs on vast swathes of land on the outskirts of the city has taken a significant step forward.

The latest stage of the East Norwich Masterplan - a blueprint for the development of former industrial sites in Carrow and Trowse - has been signed off by Norwich City Council this week, allowing the next phase to get under way.

This will involve establishing timings for construction work to begin, as well as finalising details about how many schools and businesses might be involved in the project, and what other infrastructure is needed.

In total, the scheme is expected to bring around 3,600 homes and 4,000 jobs to an area covering 50 hectares - the equivalent of up to 80 football pitches.

The development covers four main sites clustered in the same area on the outskirts of Norwich. These are: the Carrow Works, home of the former Colman's and Britvic factories; the Deal Ground and May Gurney sites in Trowse; and the Utilities site between Thorpe Hamlet and Whitlingham.

By combining the developments into a single project, the council hopes to improve co-ordination of the works and create a more cohesive neighbourhood for the city.

Mike Stonard, the Norwich City Council project lead, said: “It makes sense for us to have a masterplan for the whole site, which informs relevant planning policies and which ensures we can coordinate infrastructure across the whole site. 

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“What we could have seen is each of the four landowners going off and developing in their own way, doing whatever they wanted to do. 

“The reason they sit around the table with us is because they recognise there is a benefit to us all working together and having a coherence of the whole plan.” 

Bisected by two rivers, the Wensum and the Yare, and a railway line, the physical infrastructure requirements needed in the area are "considerable", say officials.

They include: four bridges, two underpass improvements, road junctions and flood mitigation. 

Mr Stonard said the price for infrastructure and any unexpected costs for the project is expected to be around £225m.

The next phase will be overseen by Homes England, a government agency, with the city council continuing to provide a project management role.