The site includes land on both sides of Garden Street and is 1.08 hectares in size. The site contains a surface car park and light industrial buildings, mainly used for motor related businesses. The City centre conservation area appraisal identifies the buildings on the site as ‘negative buildings’, detracting from the character of the conservation area.
The site is surrounded by a mix of uses, predominantly residential flats and some office and light industrial buildings. The site is partially surrounded to the east and south by the Ber Street wooded ridge which is an ecological link and a publicly accessible open space.
This part of the city centre is a very mixed area with a combination of industrial and residential uses. There is a large housing area set back from the main streets, mostly in cul-de-sacs off Rouen Road. The houses are in blocks, often surrounded by empty green spaces and parking areas or garage blocks. This layout provides very little visual enclosure to the street, with few buildings directly fronting onto it. The repetitive design together with the lack of detailing of much of this housing forms a contrast with the remaining traditional properties. A large section of the west side of Rouen Road is surface car parking, again providing no enclosure. Normandie Tower, a large residential tower block, is to the south of the site.
The JCS promotes the city centre as the main focus in the sub-region for retail, leisure and office development, with housing and educational development also adding to the vibrancy of the centre. The key diagram for the city centre identifies the site as being within an ‘area of change’ where the focus of change is through mixed use development including small scale offices/business units and residential development.
This area is identified as an area of change and development will positively contribute to the regeneration of the Ber Street and Rouen Road area. Development will also present an opportunity to improve the townscape of Rouen Road and enhance green infrastructure.
Development must address the site’s main constraints which include its location in the City Centre Conservation Area and Area of Main Archaeological Interest, possible contamination, its topography with land sloping down to the south east of the site and its location adjacent to the Ber Street wooded ridge. Ground conditions are a potential constraint as this is the site of former chalk workings. Long leases on some of the existing light industrial units may also be a constraint.
Relatively high density development is possible in this highly accessible city centre site.
The large surface car park, although presenting a negative view along Rouen Road, serves an important function in this part of the city centre and public parking should be incorporated into redevelopment, possibly by incorporating it into the lower levels with a visual curtain of active frontage to the street. Redevelopment should also cater for the needs of small businesses in the city centre area by providing small business units as part of the comprehensive development.
The design principles of the development should establish street frontages onto Rouen Road and Thorn Lane. It should also enhance the adjacent Ber Street wooded ridge, and provide for enhanced green infrastructure and landscaping within the site and links to the proposed Norwich Cycle Network which runs along this section of Rouen Road. Vehicular access should be taken from Garden Street, not onto Thorn Lane.
Norfolk County council has identified that there is a need for an additional primary school in the school planning area. This area broadly covers Lakenham, Mancroft and Thorpe Hamlet wards and includes Trowse in South Norfolk. The school is likely to be needed around 2020 to 2021. Whilst early work has identified that the Garden Street site may be suitable for such development, no detailed evidence has been produced to assess the potential of other sites in the school planning area to deliver the required provision.
Therefore the policy includes a temporary option for consideration for a development for school use for 4 years after adoption of the plan. This would enable a sufficient lead in time for a new school, if needed on this site, to be in place by 2020/21. To enable this, a planning application would have to be submitted by April 2018.
It would also enable the site to be developed for housing led mixed use development during the plan period if it is not required for school development. If the study produced by Norfolk County council by the end of 2016 shows that an alternative site is more suitable for the primary school, the temporary option for school development will cease to apply from January 2017.
If a school were to be permitted on the site, replacement public car parking would be required in the vicinity as there is a need to retain car parking provision in this part of the city centre. The replacement public car parking could be provided either through direct provision or through a commuted sum to extend existing car parks.
School development would have to implement the car parking standards for educational development in this part of the city centre required by policy DM31 ‘Car parking and Servicing’ and set out in appendix 3 of the DM policies plan, providing one operational car parking space per ten classrooms.
Given its location, an archaeological investigation will be required prior to development of the site. Since the site is over 1 hectare, a flood risk assessment is required and appropriate mitigation measures should be provided as part of the development.
Development needs to ensure that the water environment is protected throughout the development of the site. The site falls within Source Protection Zone 1, designated to protect water supplies, and therefore the water environment is particularly vulnerable in this location. Detailed discussions over this issue will be required with the Environment Agency to ensure that proposals are appropriate for the site and that the site is developed in a manner which protects the water environment.
The land is owned by the city council and available for redevelopment in the plan period.
POLICY CC10: Land at Garden Street – mixed use development with temporary option for primary school development)
Land at Garden Street is allocated for housing led mixed use development including:
- in the region of 100 dwellings;
- an element of small scale office/business units to cater for small businesses.
Replacement public parking spaces will be provided as part of the scheme.
Vehicle access should be via Garden Street and not off Rouen Road.
For a period of 4 years from adoption of the plan, an option for development of the site for a primary school will be considered. This will be dependent on production of a detailed study by Norfolk County council, agreed with Norwich City council, by the end of 2016 assessing whether this is the most appropriate site for such development in the school planning area. If the study shows:
- that an alternative site is more suitable for the primary school, the temporary option for school development will cease to apply from January 2017;
- that the Garden Street site is the most suitable school site, a planning application will be submitted by Spring/Summer 2018.
School development would be required to make provision for replacement public car parking in the vicinity of the site through direct provision or a commuted sum to extend existing car parks.
School development would have to implement the car parking standards for educational development in this part of the city centre, providing one operational car parking space per ten classrooms.
Any development must be designed to protect neighbour amenity, protect and enhance the wooded ridge to the east and south of the site, and to provide enhanced landscaping, green infrastructure and improved pedestrian and cycle links through the site.
An archaeological assessment is required prior to development. A flood risk assessment and any necessary flood mitigation measures are required.