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Unpopular bid for 12 homes in congested part of city is withdrawn

PUBLISHED: 12:29 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:29 10 July 2019

The building, on the right, which would have been knocked down and rebuilt under the plans. Photo: Google

The building, on the right, which would have been knocked down and rebuilt under the plans. Photo: Google

Archant

Developers have withdrawn divisive plans to demolish garages and build 12 new homes in a congested part of Norwich.

The parade of shops on Colman Road. Photo: Steve AdamsThe parade of shops on Colman Road. Photo: Steve Adams

Cosmichome Limited had lodged the bid with Norwich City Council to demolish a single-storey shop unit on Colman Road, at its North Park Avenue junction, and rebuild a three-storey block with eight homes in the upper two floors.

The building is currently home to Happy Cabs taxi firm and Norfolk Part Worn Tyres.

Developers also hoped to demolish a row of derelict garages at the back of the shops on Colman Road, creating four two-storey townhouses in their place.

But the bid has been withdrawn, after a string of complaints from nearby residents, who said the area was already too congested, the garages were actually in use and that house-building risked safety.

In planning documents published online, an email says it was withdrawn "on the basis that a new application would be of a similar character, the site boundary is the same and a new fee is not required", sparking fears it will soon be resubmitted.

Tom Buckham, who lives at North Park Drive, said: "We collectively shared so much evidence and objection that it would have been incomprehensible to have approved it.

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"Where the garages are is very much a commercial area, it's not suitable for housing. It's behind the Colman shops, where there is a Greggs and Papa John's and it's used by delivery drivers and HGVs."

He added: "If we want to use our car on a Tuesday or Thursday we have to get up early and move it, or we will be blocked in by delivery vans."

On the application, one person living nearby said: "I have difficulty backing out of my driveway onto the very busy North Park Avenue. I have already had two accidents doing this because of the congestion."

Another person said the garages - described as "derelict" in the application - were actually in use and had recently been restored.

In their response, Norfolk Constabulary also said there were concerns over the "density of the proposed development" and the impact it would have on parking for residents, which they said was key in a "high crime area".

But in the papers, Cosmichome said there would have been a "negligible change in vehicular movements", and that it would not "materially impact" the area.

Twelve car parking spaces had been proposed for the homes.

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