Trowse Housing Plans – Some Notes

Information on the recent communication from local Councillor Trevor Lewis (published in various Trowse Villager editions).

October 2012

NEWS FROM YOUR DISTRICT COUNCILLOR

 

HOW MUCH MORE NEW HOUSING IN TROWSE?

As part of the Local Plan (or Local Development Framework) for finding locations for thousands of new houses in the Norwich area, South Norfolk Council wants to zone all the land between the village and the A146 Trowse Bypass for about 250 houses. These plans were recently exhibited at the White Horse PH. Whether or not you went, I hope that you will take the opportunity to comment before the closing date October 26th. The Council’s main web page for this is:

http://www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/planning/4620.asp

-from which there is a link for you to make your comments, to:

http://s-norfolk.jdi-consult.net/ldf/

The specific proposals for Trowse are from page 34 onwards at:

http://www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/planning/media/Preferred_Option_Site_Specific-consultation.pdf

– and the related map is at:

http://www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/planning/media/Trowse.pdf

Contact the Council or me for a paper copy if you find that easier!

These 250 would be in addition to the 700 houses proposed for the May Gurney and Deal Ground sites. Those developments are not part of this consultation. .For comparison, Trowse parish currently has fewer than 400 homes, of which 50+ lie outside the main village at Whitlingham Hall.

If you are unhappy about this, just to say you don’t want houses on our village farmland will not get very far – you need reasons. The ones I have noted include:

  • contrary to current Council policies ENV 3, River Valleys and ENV 6, Landscape Setting of the A47 Southern Bypass
  • Lack of capacity at Trowse School (but the School could cope with more by turning away pupils from outside the village)
  • Cumulative effect of all these developments on traffic in the village and at Martineau Lane roundabout
  • Visual impact, especially the more ‘downhill’ of the two sites
  • Loss of farmland which, being less than two miles from the City centre, is an asset to be protected

Meanwhile, local building firm Norfolk Homes has advised that it intends to lodge a planning application for the ‘downhill’ site adjoining White Horse Lane without waiting for the approval of the Local Plan. They may have good prospects, because the Council has identified the site for development in principle, and there is currently less than a 5-year supply of local approved building land. This is not part of the consultation, and would be dealt with when it is made, probably fairly soon.

April 2013

NEW HOUSING – A BATTLE WON! – BUT THE WAR CONTINUES

As foreseen in the last Trowse Villager, housing allocations for Trowse under the Local Plan come to South Norfolk Council’s Cabinet on March 25th – after this is written but before you read it. The agenda for that Cabinet Meeting recommends that both of the sites between the village and the bypass are no longer allocated for new housing.  South Norfolk had identified the sites as able to contribute up to 250 homes from 1,800 it needed to find on ‘smaller’ sites near Norwich, but it now believes that those 250 can be found elsewhere.

The original reason for this is that Norfolk County Council had objected to their allocation for house-building, because of the inability to provide primary schooling for all proposed local developments given the capacity issues at Trowse Primary School. Very much at the last minute, Norfolk County Council has now suggested that about 20% of the land on those sites off White Horse Lane could be reserved for building a new larger school to replace our lovely Trowse Primary School, with the rest still going for housing. (Presumably, the current school would then be sold off or used for other purposes).  Despite this, the recommendation is to ‘delete both sites from the Preferred Options as there has been no new school site identified that is deliverable. These sites will be excluded from the development boundary and the Norwich Southern Bypass Landscape Protection zone will be redrawn to include this land.’

Obviously, the first step will be for South Norfolk’s Cabinet to agree to this. There is then the issue of:

Arminghall Settlement and Norfolk Homes Applications

If the deselection of Trowse for more housing is agreed, it is more than possible that these outline planning applications will now be refused, no doubt to the great annoyance of the developers, who thought that they were pushing at an open door. Indeed, if turned down, they would quite likely appeal. However, one of them might offer a site for a new school (which could make this ‘deliverable’), and we could be back at square one.

Deal Ground and May Gurney Sites

The applications were recently modified to make them outline applications only, no doubt because so many of the details were proving difficult for the developers to satisfy Norwich City Council (for the Deal Ground) and South Norfolk Council (for the May Gurney site). These revised applications are currently expected now to come to planning committees in each authority during April (but previous forecasts of such dates have slipped). If outline approval is granted, the developments cannot go ahead until the details are settled in full applications.

April Flyer 2013

The Cabinet of South Norfolk Council has indeed decided to remove the proposed allocation of 250 homes on the sites in Trowse from its preferred sites for future development. The reason is Norfolk County Council’s objection on the grounds that Trowse Primary School cannot cope. This change will now go out to consultation, and you, me and the developers will shortly get a chance to agree or disagree with it.

However, Norfolk County Council, in responding to the latest proposals for the Deal Ground and May Gurney sites, has realised what we have all been saying for years, namely that no current primary school could cope adequately with children from those sites, with or without the additional sites in Trowse. So it has canvassed the idea of a completely new primary school in Trowse, replacing the current school.

Norfolk Homes has said that it believes that arrangements could be made to provide a new school site off White Horse Lane, presumably as a joint deal with the Arminghall Settlement (represented by Laronde Wright). That would take up about a quarter of the land on those two sites, but still leave space for many new houses.

So if the Deal Ground and May Gurney sites get outline planning approval, Norfolk Homes and the Arminghall Settlement may use the consultation to seek the reinstatement of the new homes allocation with the addition of a new school too.

In the mean time, the actual planning applications that have been lodged will have to be decided, unless they are withdrawn for fresh applications to include the provision of a new school site. So, as I already said, the war continues.

Trevor’s Contact Details

Trevor Lewis, District Councillor,  Stoke Holy Ward (includes Trowse), South Norfolk Council

34 White Horse Lane, Trowse, Norwich NR14 8TG                        Tel 01603 621126  Email: tlewis@s-norfolk.gov.uk