Plans for controversial Keswick industrial estate approved

Striking pictures of a poppy field near Norwich. Picture: Rob Borrett

The field near Keswick was once covered by poppies - Credit: Rob Borrett

Dormant plans for a controversial industrial estate on the outskirts of the city have been given the green light to go forward.

Norwich Apex Limited has planned to build a 27-acre business park on a field off Ipswich Road, near Keswick, for almost half a decade.

South Norfolk Council (SNC) has now given the plans approval to proceed.

The field had been popular with photographers after the developers allowed it to be taken over by poppies.

The poppies have been removed from the field off Ipswich Road near Keswick 

Poppies were removed from the field off Ipswich Road near Keswick  - Credit: David Vail

But residents were disappointed to see them all cut back last year.

The company was given 'outline' planning permission in 2018, meaning specifics like appearance, layout and scale were reserved for future determination.

Those last issues were approved by the SNC development committee on Wednesday.

The earlier application was publicly opposed by BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey and Norwich City legend Darren Huckerby, who both live locally.

Several changes have been made since the outline stage, including reducing the floor space and cutting the number of buildings while making each one larger.

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The outline plans expected around 1,000 jobs to be created on the site.

David Vail, from Keswick and Intwood Parish Council, described the proposal as a "blot on the landscape".

The proposed site for a new industrial estate at Keswick.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The proposed site for a new industrial estate at Keswick - Credit: Archant

He told the committee the plans were an "intractable mess" which had moved so far away from the outline scheme that it should be considered as a new application.

“They plan to build enormous characterless metal warehouses all set in a bleak lorry park," he said.

SNC's planning officer said the latest scheme meets the requirements set out under the previous applications and recommend it for approval.

She said: “The development doesn’t adversely impact the character of the area or nearby listed buildings, is not detrimental to highway safety, ecology, or residential amenities and therefore I recommend approval.” 

Nicol Perryman, speaking on behalf of the developer, said the plans addressed concerns from neighbours that the scheme could lead to flooding, with extra measures put in place.

She also said a manufacturing business has agreed to move into the site which would create 40 jobs.

The plans were approved seven for, one against and one abstention.