New homes for former rough sleepers given go-ahead

Seven one-bed affordable rent homes for rough sleepers approved

Seven one-bed affordable rent homes for rough sleepers approved for Ketts Hill - Credit: Google Street View

Plans for seven new Norwich homes intended for use by former rough sleepers have been approved by councillors.

The seven one-bed, affordable rent properties on Kett's Hill are to be offered first to people who were previously homeless.

The proposal to build the homes, set on 0.37acres of land next to the former Kett's Tavern, has drawn a series of objections from neighbours concerned it could increase existing crime and antisocial behaviour issues in the area, including drug dealing and fighting.

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Norwich City Council approved the development on Thursday morning - Credit: EDP pics © 2007

However, council officer Maria Hammond recommended the development for approval saying it should not raise any "unacceptable amenity risks". 

She added: “The applicant has received funding as part of the government’s Covid-19 rough sleeper response for this development and they intend to offer dwellings to former rough sleepers in the first instance and as general need for affordable rent in the longer term.” 

One neighbour who objected said: "As a woman living alone, I am deeply concerned about the change to the neighbourhood dynamic.

"The possibility for an increase in crime, disturbances and the hazard of drug-taking paraphernalia littering the street is something that I believe has not been thought about.

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"Were these plans to go ahead I would feel less safe in my home my and going to and from it."

Others also raised concern about possible loss of light and the privacy impact on their properties.

Jake Lambert, speaking on behalf of the applicant, Broadland Development Services, disputed their concerns.

Mr Lambert said there was enough distance between the development and a neighbour that he did not believe there would be a “significant loss of privacy for this property in the grand scheme of things”. 

Mr Lambert called on the councillors not to miss the opportunity to provide housing for those less fortunate. 

Green city councillor Sandra Bogelein. Photo: Neil Didsbury

Green city councillor Sandra Bogelein. Photo: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

Green councillors Sandra Bogelein and Lesley Grahame raised concerns about biodiversity loss on the site and the lack of details on how lost trees would be replaced with. 

At a meeting on Thursday the application was approved with three Green councillors - Ms Bogelein, Ms Grahame and Gary Champion - abstaining.