The site is located on the south-west side of Mousehold Lane (the A1042) between Sprowston Road and Moorland Close. Mousehold Lane forms part of the Norwich outer ring road and is on a principal distributor route serving the northern and eastern suburbs and major employment areas around the airport and Sprowston. The site extends to 0.87 hectares and slopes down from north-east to south-west. It is currently cleared and vacant, having previously been a shoe factory.
The surrounding area is predominantly residential with low and medium density housing areas adjoining the site on three sides. Further housing on the opposite frontage to Mousehold Lane on its north-east side is within Sprowston in Broadland district. Immediately adjoining the site to the north-west is a former 1930s pub, the Duke of Norfolk, now converted to a restaurant.
The south-eastern boundary of the site is steeply banked up to the rear gardens of properties in Moorland Close. Additionally there is a reserved strip of land for an easement and right of way for services alongside the south-western boundary adjoining residential properties in Templemere.
A medium density housing development is appropriate on this brownfield site close to local services. The site has unconstrained capacity for approximately 60 dwellings. In practical terms the constraints imposed by site levels and easements, the need to respect the suburban character of the surrounding area and minimise overlooking to Templemere will reduce the achievable maximum number of dwellings to around 40. Development should include a mix of dwelling sizes and types with a maximum of three storey building height.
The existing belt of woodland and scrub runs along the length of the south-west and south-east boundaries and this should be retained and opportunities taken to enhance landscaping and green infrastructure through the site. This belt forks to the south-east and south-west thereby linking to Mousehold Heath and towards the Sprowston Road allotments. There is the potential for this belt to function as a biodiversity corridor as part of the proposal to extend Mousehold Heath to the north-east. In terms of visual amenity it represents a significant landscape feature which should be retained and enhanced.
A pedestrian link to Templemere is desirable to provide a more convenient and direct link to the district retail centre. Vehicular access should be taken from Mousehold Lane with appropriate junction improvements to enable a right turn for eastbound traffic using Mousehold Lane and a pedestrian crossing point.
Investigation has shown evidence of some contamination from previous industrial uses which will require remediation prior to commencement of development. Traffic noise and possibly noise from the adjacent restaurant use could be an issue on the Mousehold Lane frontage and appropriate sound insulation measures and suitable layout of development will be required to overcome any amenity impacts.
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.
The site has been cleared and is available for development. A scheme of redevelopment for 39 dwellings was accepted in principle subject to the implementation of off-site highway works and the completion of a planning obligation agreement to secure affordable housing, contributions for library and playspace provision. This application was withdrawn in September 2008. Beneficial redevelopment is a priority and is supported by the site owner and local residents.
POLICY R18: Former Start Rite Factory Site, 28 Mousehold Lane – housing development
The site of 0.87 hectares is allocated for redevelopment for housing.
- Development should include:
- housing (in the region of 40 dwellings);
- enhanced green infrastructure and landscaping;
- a pedestrian/cycle link to Templemere;
- vehicular access from Mousehold Lane, associated highway and junction improvements to enable right turn into site and a pedestrian crossing point;
- potential rationalisation of access/servicing arrangements with neighbouring restaurant premises to remove the need for a separate access to Mousehold Lane; and a noise assessment to ensure suitable protection of residential amenity including mitigating the noise impact from the 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, wherever practicable, have a positive impact on the risk of surface water flooding in the wider area.