Number of homes for derelict site could be increased to 200

About 150 council homes could be built at the former Mile Cross depot site. Picture: Google

Council bosses are looking to build 200 council homes on the Mile Cross depot site. - Credit: Archant

The number of new council homes earmarked to be built on a derelict former depot site in Norwich could be increased.

Norwich City Council agreed last year that it wanted to redevelop the former Mile Cross depot site into homes.

After a delay, amid the coronavirus pandemic, a design team, led by city-based Hamson Barron Smith was appointed last month.

And council leaders say they are looking to increase the number of homes to be built on the site, off Mile Cross Road, from 150 to 200.

Gail Harris, Norwich City Council cabinet member for social housing. Pic: Archant Library.

Gail Harris, Norwich City Council cabinet member for social housing. - Credit: Submitted

Gail Harris, Norwich City Council deputy leader and cabinet member for social housing, said: “This is a really positive development for the city, and an opportunity to continue our proud legacy of social housing.

"It will allow us to meet housing need and help tackle fuel poverty by providing quality council homes with high environmental standards.

“This will be a significant investment for the council using funds from our housing budget and the money we retain from Right To Buy sales of council houses.”

The former Mile Cross depot site. Pic: Dan Grimmer

The former Mile Cross depot site. - Credit: Archant

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Back in November 2018, the council revealed it was considering whether a new swimming pool could form part of the proposals for the site.

The council wanted to explore whether money generated by the new homes could allow the construction of a leisure facility, such as a pool.

But a feasibility study showed that the numbers did not stack up in favour of a pool, so that idea was scrapped.

The 10.5 acre site used to be the council’s City Works depot and then became the Mile Cross Business Centre.

About 30 small to medium sized and expanding businesses had been based at the business centre, on short-term leases.

But they were served notice in 2017, as the council looked to get the site developed.

Investigations found chemical contaminants such as asbestos, along with low levels of ground gas on the site and the council received almost £1m from the government to help pay for decontamination works.

The council has said it is keen to build on the success of social housing schemes, such as the RIBA Stirling Prize-winning Goldsmith Street development.