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Plans for large container storage site withdrawn after neighbours raise safety concerns

PUBLISHED: 09:36 19 July 2020 | UPDATED: 19:17 20 July 2020

Bill Couzens, deputy chair of Sprowston Town Council. Picture: Bill Couzens

Bill Couzens, deputy chair of Sprowston Town Council. Picture: Bill Couzens

Bill Couzens

A demolition firm owner has withdrawn plans to store large containers on a former builders’ yard after residents raised safety concerns.

The former WS Lusher and Son site off Lusher's Loke, Sprowston, Norwich, which was bought by Mitchell Property (Norwch) Limited. Picture: Sophie WyllieThe former WS Lusher and Son site off Lusher's Loke, Sprowston, Norwich, which was bought by Mitchell Property (Norwch) Limited. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

John Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Property (Norwich) Limited, which is side business of Mitchell Demolition, wanted to redevelop the two-acre plot off Lusher’s Loke restricted byway in Sprowston, to hold 52 storage containers for the storage and sale of aggregates.

The former WS Lusher and Son site off Lusher's Loke, Sprowston, Norwich, which was bought by Mitchell Property (Norwch) Limited. Picture: Sophie WyllieThe former WS Lusher and Son site off Lusher's Loke, Sprowston, Norwich, which was bought by Mitchell Property (Norwch) Limited. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

Mr Mitchell, who bought the former WS Lusher and Son builders’ yard a year ago, withdrew the application after objections from the local residents over noise and safety .

Natasha Harpley who reprsesents Sprowston Central Ward on Broadland District Council. Picture: Bethany WhymarkNatasha Harpley who reprsesents Sprowston Central Ward on Broadland District Council. Picture: Bethany Whymark

He plans to apply to Broadland District Council in a year’s time for around 30 new homes, mainly bungalows, including affordable homes, to be built on the site.

Lusher’s Loke is between School Lane and Breydon Road - a quiet residential area - and residents were worried about large machinery using School Lane and the restricted byway as well as criminals being attracted to the large containers.

Mr Mitchell, who has already demolished the old buildings to make the site safe, said: “We are going to carry on using the site short-term for the original use as a builders yard. We are constructing a plan for small residential bungalows and affordable homes. It is not going to be intensified. I’m hopeful that will please the objectors.

“The objections we got were quite surprising. We are trying to appease the locals but we still need to pay for the site.”

He added he has invested over £100,000 in decontaminating and clearing up the land and predicts he will spend another £500,000 on the housing plan.

To pay for the yearly business rates, Mr Mitchell plans on running a small-scale timber yard with only three staff.

MORE: Bid to build on former building yard lodged

Luke Swan, 39, who lives on nearby Keswick Road, described the move as “positive”.

He and another resident were worried about large HGVs causing a safety risk to neighbours’ gardens and people on foot by travelling down Lusher’s Loke.

Natasha Harpley, who represents Sprowston Central Ward on Broadland District Council, said: “That is brilliant. I’m hopeful they stick to the affordable homes plan.”

Bill Couzens, deputy chair of Sprowston Town Council, said: “I’m pleased they want to put in for affordable homes.”

The land was originally earmarked for new homes in the 2014 neighbourhood plan.

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