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Norwich families warn new homes plan will cause parking chaos

Councillors at City Hall have decided to delay a decision on plans to build new homes on a car park in Belvoir Street.

Councillors at City Hall have decided to delay a decision on plans to build new homes on a car park in Belvoir Street.

EDP pics © 2007

Families who say getting rid of a car park to make way for new homes would cause parking chaos have persuaded councillors to delay a decision on the controversial scheme.

More than 100 people signed two separate petitions objecting to the proposed sale of Belvoir Street car park by Norwich City Council.

As part of an £8m tie up with the Homes and Communities Agency, the council is selling a number of sites around the city so Orwell Housing Association can build a hundred new affordable homes.

The 29-space car park, close to the Belvedere Community Centre off Dereham Road, is one of the sites the housing association wants to build on.

But, at a meeting of the city council’s planning committee yesterday, councillors decided to hold off making a decision.

Families raised a string of concerns, saying that, with double yellow lines on Heigham Road, and separate plans to get rid of the nearby car park in Wymer Street, they could be left with nowhere to park.

Stephen White, who lives in Heigham Road, said of 44 people asked in his street, 43 were against the plan, while a further 37 in Belvoir Street objected.

He said: “Heigham Road has double yellow lines, so we cannot park in our own street. I would like to ask the committee how they would feel if someone turned up wanting to build on space near their homes.”

He said there had been hardly any time for consultation, while Tom Fines, who also lives in Heigham Road, added that the loss of the car park would create problems for the school bus which serves nearby St John’s Roman Catholic First School.

On behalf of Orwell Housing Association, agent Peter Wells said he understood the concerns but said there had been consultation back in November before the application for the two three-bed homes and the three two-bed homes was lodged.

Councillors questioned why there had not been a study of how well-used the car park was, saying they wanted that information before making a decision.

But Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat councillor for Eaton, said: “I am in favour of going ahead and being shot down by the community for saying we have to give up parking spaces for people to have homes.”

However, councillors decided to delay a decision until officers have monitored the use of the car park for a week, including in the mornings, evenings and weekends.

Are you fighting a planning application where you live? Call Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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