Demands for 600 Norwich homes to be built

Developers behind plans to build 600 homes on the edge of Norwich today warned that jobs and homes are at risk unless a planning log jam can be unblocked and the scheme allowed to progress.

Investment firm Lothbury Trust last year sought to gain outline permission to develop 57 hectares of farmland on the edge of Dussindale, Thorpe St Andrew. But the scheme, which is in breach of Broadland District Council's own planning policies, was withdrawn ahead of a meeting of the council's planning committee. Residents living in Thorpe End, Thorpe St Andrew, and Great and Little Plumstead, had also raised concerns about the loss of surrounding countryside and the effect it would have on their homes.

Now Lothbury is on the verge of submitting a fresh application, which would also include the provision of parkland, and the conversion of Green Lane North into a new Marriotts Way style cycle and footpath, a rail halt, plus new a 2.2km link road, was part of a wider masterplan to develop the second phase of the Broadland Business Park. There would also be provsision for a GP surgery, a dentists, shops and a community hall.

But Simon Radford, chief executive of Lothbury, warned the delay in finalising growth plans in the area as part of the so-called joint core strategy was causing problems for developers keen to press ahead with schemes. He also questioned the focus on largescale schemes, when in the current financial climate smaller developments were easier to progress. Development is also constrained by a government decision to hold a planning inquiry into the side roads linked to the nearby Postwick Hub application. One firm keen to locate to the business park had also been put off because of the planning log jam.

'We are getting a bit frustrated with the delay in sorting out the North-East of Norwich,' Mr Radford said. 'We've got the ability to proceed with it. There's a shortage of housing in Broadland and they are behind in their housing allocations. If there are large companies wanting to move into Norwich, we have got to be able to meet these demands, because if they don't come to Norwich, they will go somewhere else.'