The site is 0.1 hectare in size and is located on the eastern side of Ber Street close to the junction with All Saints Green and Golden Ball Street. It comprises a vacant building at number 10 with the site of 12-14 adjacent, previously used as open storage land.
This site is on the fringe of the primary shopping area. It has an open, incoherent street frontage with a mix of building sizes and character. Number 10 is dated and of poor quality, and the site of number 12-14 comprises open storage land. The City centre conservation area appraisal identifies the buildings on the site as ‘negative buildings’, detracting from the character of the conservation area. There are a number of listed and locally listed buildings directly opposite the site on the west side of Ber Street.
Ber Street has been a major route out of the city since at least the 12th century, and is thought to have originally been a Roman road. Its use as a cattle drove to the old cattle market adjacent to the Castle is reflected in its unusual width. Today, following bomb damage during the Second World War and subsequent redevelopment, the street is fragmented in character, with remnants of its earlier character apparent but with much mid 20th century housing. The wider area is predominantly residential with some office development, and other commercial uses along Ber Street.
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 commercial, retail and residential uses).
Redevelopment of this site for a mix of uses will help deliver the JCS’s wider policy objectives by contributing to the improved vibrancy of this part of the city centre and strengthening the city’s sub-regional role. In this location, a mix of appropriate commercial uses could successfully link with the promoted regeneration of the Westlegate and Timberhill areas.
Development of the site must address a number of constraints including its location within the City Centre Conservation Area and the Area of Main Archaeological Interest, its location adjacent to listed buildings and possible contamination.
The development of the site provides an opportunity to deliver a vibrant mixed use site fronting Ber Street, which will contribute positively to the character of the street, and will remove ‘negative’ buildings which currently detract from its streetscape and character. The St Stephens Street area outline masterplan promotes retail uses at ground floor level along Ber Street, with residential units and private gardens to the rear of the site at ground floor level, and residential uses on upper floors. It proposes that the scale of buildings on the site should be 3 storeys to reflect the scale of surrounding development.
The site is suitable for around 10 dwellings as part of a mixed use development, with some retail and/or office development along the Ber Street frontage. Development must enhance the setting of the neighbouring listed buildings and reflect its location in the City Centre Conservation Area. Its design must re-instate a strong building line along the street frontage, whilst respecting the area’s important topography and neighbouring uses.
The site is suitable for car free housing given its sustainable location and the provision of a car club space on Ber Street would be welcomed. An access across the site to the development to the rear of 6-8 Ber Street is required and any entrance point onto Ber Street should be located towards the southern boundary of the site.
The development must also enhance the public realm and streetscape in line with the St Stephens Street area outline masterplan.
An archaeological investigation will be required prior to development.
The site was formerly part of Local Plan allocation for housing development of 30 dwellings in mix with retail, office, or leisure uses. This site is owned by Norwich City council and is suitable and available for development within the plan period.
POLICY CC3: 10 to 14 Ber Street – mixed use development
The site at 10 - 14 Ber Street is allocated for redevelopment for a mix of uses including:
- retail or complementary uses in A2, A3; (at ground floor level);
- office development;
- residential uses on upper floors (a minimum of 10 dwellings).
The development must be designed to :
- be well integrated with the sites to the north and south;
- strengthen the building line along Ber Street;
- enhance the setting of the listed and locally listed buildings in the vicinity;
- respect the topography of the area;
- be accessed from Ber Street towards the southern end of the site.