This 0.3 hectare site is currently occupied by a surface car park accessed from Westwick Street, a route into the city centre from the inner ring road. It is bordered by the ring road to the north and west, by the River Wensum and the riverside walk to the east and by a residential night shelter to the south-east. Parking for neighbouring retail units is to the south.
The site is a gateway to the city centre, located adjacent to the remains of the city wall, close to the former Heigham Gate and the former City Station.
Redevelopment of the site offers the opportunity to make better use of this valuable city centre site to continue the development of a vibrant mixed use quarter providing further housing in Westwick Street, and to extend the riverside walk.
As a main gateway, the quality of buildings here has a major impact on impressions of the city centre. High density development would be appropriate on the site, possibly of 3 or 4 storeys fronting Barn Road but stepping down to 2 or 3 adjacent to Highwater House and the river. A prominent corner building may be appropriate as part of a development scheme.
Development should address the site’s constraints. The site should be designed to take account of the height of neighbouring buildings and views of churches from the Barn Road roundabout. As the line of the former city wall runs across part of the site, this should be demarcated.
The City centre conservation area appraisal identifies the river and the riverside walk to the east of the site as providing positive vistas. Development should retain and if necessary improve footways around the site, linking to the neighbouring pedestrian and cycle network, and investigate the possibility of extending the riverside walk so that there is direct access to New Mills Yard. The development should seek to enhance the security and setting of the riverside walk.
New Mills Pumping Station near the site is grade II listed. Given its location adjacent to the remains of the city wall, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the site may have archaeological interest; therefore an archaeological assessment is required prior to development on this site. Appropriate historic interpretation information should be incorporated in the development.
Development proposals will need to take account of noise from the neighbouring inner ring road; a noise assessment is required to inform the layout and design specification of development. Vehicular access should be from Westwick Street only and should take account of access to the Cathedral Retail Park opposite and the junction of Barn Road.
The site lies adjacent to the River Wensum. A written consent from the Environment Agency is required for proposed works or structures, in, under, over or within 9 metres of the top of the bank of a designated ‘main river’. It is recommended that developers engage in early discussions with the Environment Agency.
The site is within Flood Risk Zone 2, therefore a flood risk assessment will be undertaken for this site and appropriate mitigation measures should be provided as part of the development.
The site lies within a Critical Drainage Catchment as identified on the Policies map. Therefore development proposals involving new buildings, extensions and additional areas of hard surfacing should ensure that adequate and appropriate consideration has been given to mitigating surface water flooding in accordance with policy DM5.
Given the site’s location adjacent to the inner ring road and proximity to Grape’s Hill, which has acknowledged air quality issues, an air quality assessment will be required prior to development.
The site is suitable for development. It is owned by Norwich City Council and it is anticipated that its development will be achieved within the plan period.
POLICY CC30: Westwick Street Car Park – housing development
The Westwick Street car park (0.3 hectares) is allocated for redevelopment for housing for a minimum of 30 dwellings.
Vehicular access should be taken from Westwick Street.
Development should be designed to:
- provide links with the surrounding pedestrian and cycle network, particularly along the riverside walk; and
- improve the setting of and interpretation of the city wall.
A noise assessment is required and development must be designed to mitigate the impact of noise from the inner ring road.
A surface water management assessment should be submitted with any application proposing development in accordance with this allocation. The assessment should show how the proposed development:
a) would not increase the vulnerability of the site, or the wider catchment, to flooding from surface water run-off from existing or predicted water flows, and;
b) would, whenever practicable, have a positive impact on the risk of surface water flooding in the wider area.