New sites for gypsies and travellers proposed in Norwich area

Wymondham Recycling Centre

Wymondham Recycling Centre could become a new home for gypsies and travellers - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Three new sites for housing gypsies and travellers have been put forward as part of blueprints for building 50,000 homes across Greater Norwich. 

The Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) covers housebuilding in the city, Broadland and South Norfolk over the next two decades and must include sites for the traveller community. 

Council officers have said gypsies and travellers are among the most deprived groups in Norfolk, so the right sites need to come forward. 

Three locations have been identified for further consultation, in Cawston, Costessey and Wymondham.

The draft Greater Norwich Local Plan includes potential sites for thousands of new homes. Photo: Bro

The draft Greater Norwich Local Plan includes potential sites for thousands of new homes. Photo: Broadland District Council, Norwich City Council, South Norfolk District Council - Credit: Archant

The Cawston site would be on land off Buxton Road, Eastgate, with space for around four pitches. It is the only privately-owned space that has come forward in the GNLP, with all other areas being on council land. 

The Costessey site, on land off Bawburgh Lane, north of New Road, has space for 18 pitches. The plans would be added to an 800-home development on the 153-acre site, which is part-owned by Norwich City Council. 

However, GNLP officers have identified issues with the Costessey site, particularly whether it could be brought forward in time. 

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However, officers have warned there is a risk bringing the timing forward.

The final site could be at the current Wymondham Recycling centre, on Strayground Lane, which has space for two pitches. This site is owned by Norfolk County Council, which announced it plans to move from the site to a new location. 

The GNLP had been submitted to government inspectors without any traveller sites last year. The inspectors called for the councils to be more active in finding sites and bring their own forward. 

Phil Courtier, a Greater Norwich Development Partnership (GNDP) officer, said: “It’s part of our role to ensure that people have sufficient homes and that includes what I would describe as one of the most deprived communities in the area.” 

Mr Courtier said in the past the GNDP relied on the gypsy community bringing sites to them but government inspectors asked councils to take a more active role for the GNLP. 

A consultation on the sites will be carried out from July 25 to September 7. At the same time, landowners are able to promote further locations.  

Undertaking the consultation needs to be signed off by the three councils, with Norwich City Council set to discuss it on Wednesday.