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Thousands of Norwich garages to make way for homes

The block of garages on The Avenues, Norwich which are among those to  be demolished to make way for housing.

The block of garages on The Avenues, Norwich which are among those to be demolished to make way for housing.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

Moves to knock down almost a thousand garages in Norwich to make way for a hundred new homes are gathering pace, with a string of sites recommended to get the go-ahead for demolition next week.

Norwich City Council has earmarked 965 garages to be bulldozed so that housing associations can build new affordable homes on the sites.

The council says more than third of the 4,368 garages it owns around Norwich are empty and at a time when the city’s population is growing, it makes sense for them to make way for new homes.

But some of the schemes have met with opposition from people unhappy at the loss of their garages, while one pressure group fears the loss of the garages will lead to cars clogging up streets and parking on grass verges.

John Peacock, from Living Streets, which campaigns for the rights of pedestrians, has raised concerns that the loss of parking spots will see more damage to the city’s grass verges.

He said: “The allocation of garages should be tied into the need to reduce verge parking, so where local people have been allocated garages they should use them rather than the grassed verges outside their homes.

“Checks should be regularly carried out to ensure compliance and garages should not be let to people not residing in the immediate area.

“The city council needs to take a firmer line on this issue which is turning our grassed verges into muddy eyesores.”

The council has said its planning committee will take into account the loss of existing car parking space and whether parking is adequate for the new houses.

A string of garage sites where permission is being sought to build new homes are up for discussion at a meeting of the planning committee next Thursday.

Orwell Housing Association is hoping to get approval for 47 garages to be demolished so six two-bed homes can be built at The Avenues in Earlham; for 14 garages to make way for two homes off Pilling Park Road in Thorpe Hamlet; to knock down 14 garages so three houses can be built off Pelham Road in Sewell ward and for three homes to replace 32 garages near Jamieson Place in Wensum ward.

All the schemes are recommended for approval and civic watchdog The Norwich Society said it seemed “sensible” to use the land for housing, although they described the plans for the new homes as “safe, without much inspiration.”

The Evening News reported last month how Robert Hurrell, of Pippin Green, Earlham, was unhappy at plans to demolish the garage he has rented for more than 30 years.

His garage in The Avenues is one of the 47 on the site due to be knocked down to make way for the homes.

• Do you think it’s right to knock down garages to build homes? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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