This site is located in the western part of the city and is one hectare in size. It consists of single storey warehouse and depot buildings and concrete hardstanding in use for storage and distribution.
The site is located at the north-western end of City Trading Estate, adjacent to housing to the south and west, open space to the north and the an employment area to the east. The Dolphin Path is to the west of the site and the Riverside Walk and River Wensum to the north. There are mature trees, some with tree preservation orders, and hedges on the boundaries of the site.
The site is accessed by Raynham Street off Heigham Road, a busy radial road with a mixture of business and residential uses. There is open space, part of the Wensum valley, to the north of the site, including the Railway Path pedestrian/cycle route to the north of the River Wensum.
The site is designated in the 2004 Replacement local plan for employment uses. Re-allocation of the site for housing provides the opportunity to improve the currently unattractive strategic Dolphin Path pedestrian and cycle link. Although development of this site for housing would lead to loss of employment land in the City Trading Estate, this loss would be outweighed by the benefits of the development. However, access constraints would have to be overcome to enable development.
This link is part of the orange route of the strategic cycle network, linking the south and north of the city. It is also an important access to the Railway Path, part of National Cycle Route 1. This route provides excellent access to both the city centre and to the open countryside via the Wensum Valley. The Wensum Valley is identified in JCS policy 1 as a sub-regional green infrastructure corridor.
Development is therefore required to both improve the Dolphin Path itself and to be designed to create an active frontage to the path, to provide surveillance and improve its setting, enabling the path to better fulfil its strategic function.
The development will also be required to improve the riverside walk north of the site and to be landscaped to reflect its setting adjacent to green spaces in the Wensum Valley. The presence of trees in and around the site will have to be taken account of in the design of the development. Development should also take into account the adjacent County Wildlife Site and should be designed to protect and enhance biodiversity.
The design and scale of development should respect the setting of the adjacent Dolphin Inn, a seventeenth century listed building.
Access from Raynham Street is a major constraint. Therefore the development will be required to make junction improvements to the Raynham Street and Heigham Street junction and the width improvements on Raynham Street. It is also possible that the access to the site could be made via the Dolphin Path with a shared surface road.
The site is partially in Flood Zone 2. Since the site is over 1ha a flood risk assessment is required and appropriate mitigation measures shall be provided as part of the development. As the site also lies within a Critical Drainage Catchment as identified on the Policies map, a surface water management assessment should be included in the flood risk assessment. 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 proximity to the existing employment area means that the new housing development should be well screened to minimise noise impact. Since the site may have been subject to contamination, a survey will have to be done to inform the design of development. An archaeological survey should be carried out as this site is within the Area of Main Archaeological Interest.
The site is in a single ownership and being actively promoted for development. It is suitable and available for development within the plan period.
POLICY R26: Site north of Raynham Street – housing development
The site of 1 hectare is allocated for housing development (40 dwellings minimum), subject to the provision of an acceptable and safe access to the site.
The development will be designed to:
- enhance the setting of neighbouring green spaces and paths including integrating the Dolphin Path into its design to improve the setting of the strategic pedestrian/cycle route and make it a more attractive link;
- mitigate the impact of noise for future residents from the existing employment area;
- respect the setting of the neighbouring listed buildings;
- protect trees on or near the site, including preserved trees;
- enhance biodiversity.
A flood risk assessment including 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.