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Anger as council gives private homes go-ahead, despite only way to reach them over sheltered housing complex's car park

PUBLISHED: 14:37 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:37 13 June 2019

The residents of Ryrie Court are concerned about the plan to build new homes close to their sheltered housing. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

The residents of Ryrie Court are concerned about the plan to build new homes close to their sheltered housing. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

City councillors have been accused of letting down vulnerable people, after giving the go-ahead for private homes which would be reached via the car park of a council-owned sheltered housing complex.

The residents of Ryrie Court are concerned about the plan to build new homes close to their sheltered housing. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodThe residents of Ryrie Court are concerned about the plan to build new homes close to their sheltered housing. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Residents in the 36 bungalow Norwich City Council-owned Ryrie Court in Eaton had City Hall's planning committee to turn down the application for five two-storey houses nearby.

Four of those homes would be reached via the Ryrie Court access road and car park. The fifth would be reached via Eaton Chase.

People in Ryrie Court said it could make the car park area - also owned by the city council - dangerously busy.

Given they have regular visits from carers, health professionals and ambulances, they feared their nine-spaces could be used by visitors to the new homes.

They also feared they would be unable to reach Pettus Road bus stop during construction.

But the committee voted, by eight votes for to three against to grant permission for the scheme.

Planning officer Mark Brown had said more parking than the city council would usually permit had been allowed for the new homes, to ensure parking in Ryrie Court would not be affected. He said traffic movements would be "minimal and largely insignificant".

There was anger among objectors when the committee was told applicant Battersea-based Gavin Phillips had already obtained a legal right of way to use the council's car park to get to the new homes.

And Sheila Cleeton, who used to be the city council's warden for Ryrie Court and lives there, told the council committee: "It's a disgrace. I ask you, why are you making it unsafe, with these homes being allowed to use Ryrie Court car park as a through road for private developers?"

The applicant's agent Evert Amador said they had shown sensitivity to comments from the community during the process.

The committee did agree, after a recommendation from Labour's Ian Stutely, a condition that construction traffic should access the site via Eaton Chase, rather than Ryrie Court.

But afterwards, Ryrie Court resident Joy Hobbs said permission should never have been granted and Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton, said: "I feel the city council have let down vulnerable and elderly tenants."

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