How will 1,700 planned new homes change Norwich suburb?
- Credit: Mike Page
For the first time, from this week, people are able to reserve houses at a huge development in a Norwich suburb.
Cringleford is undergoing a massive transformation with three major housing projects already approved and more possibly on the way over the next few years.
Here's what we know about how it will change the village:
How many people live there now?
The last official census, in 2011, showed a population of 5,052 living in the wider electoral ward of Cringleford. This year's data-gathering operation is currently under way, but it will be a long time before the results are released.
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But figures from Norfolk County Council's Norfolk Insight website give a population estimate of 5,485 as of 2019 – an 8.5pc increase.
And Valuation Office Agency data, also from 2019, estimates there are 2,150 dwellings in the parish.
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How many more homes are on the way?
Under the Greater Norwich Local Plan, Cringleford is expected to almost double in size over the next decade.
Parish council clerk Sonya Blythe said last year: "Over the next 10 years, the village of Cringleford is set to double in population with 1,700 more houses planned under the Greater Norwich Local Plan."
The village's neighbourhood development plan, which was adopted in February 2014, shows the parish accepted at the time "the need to provide for a further 1,200 dwellings by 2026 as a contribution to meeting the demand for housing".
Mrs Blythe confirmed 1,300 homes were already in development across three major projects.
What projects are those?
The largest is Barratt and David Wilson Homes' Cringleford Heights development, which will eventually be made up of 650 homes across two sites either side of the A11.
Planning permission was originally refused in July 2014 by South Norfolk District Council's planning committee, but a subsequent appeal triggered a public inquiry, following which an inspector sided with the developers – and then-communities secretary Greg Clark allowed the appeal.
So construction was permitted to go ahead, and on Thursday, March 18, Barratt announced the first people were able to book physical appointments and get first pick of the new homes.
"The properties available will suit first-time buyers, growing families and downsizers alike," said sales director Annette Hurst.
To add to that large development, South Norfolk Council-owned Big Sky Living has been given permission to create the 350-home St Giles Park estate. The developer said the first homes would be ready to move into this year.
And Kier Living has two approved sites, at Roundhouse Gate and Colney Lane.
What developer payments will the community get?
The size and scope of these developments means the parish council has received "significant funds from the community infrastructure levy (CIL)" and Section 106 money.
£198,269 in CIL money was received in autumn 2019, and more was expected in the following financial year. A further £399,920.45 in commuted S106 funds from the developers at Roundhouse Park was also due.
In its budget report for 2021, Cringleford Parish Council said "a significant amount" of these monies had been received. These funds are ring-fenced, but they "can be used to fund all projects that have been suggested within the proposed 2021/22 budget".
What will the cash be used for?
Chairman of the council's financial advisory group Malcolm Blackie said: "The council is visiting other parish councils to see how they have used their CIL funds, so we are able to adopt best practice and to avoid duplicating errors."
A recreation and leisure plan has been developed, and parishioners were invited to consult on the plans – including a multi-use games area, new football pitches, play areas and allotments – last year.
And this month, the parish council announced it would be obtaining land, which it "intends to use for the purpose of building a sports hall, adjacent to the already agreed adult football pitches at St Giles Park".
Its recreational strategy said capital costs based on literature review for creating the sports hall, MUGA, a skatepark and a woodland area could top £1m.