This 4.57 hectare site comprises an area of open land situated between the airport operational area and the A140 Holt Road. Much of the site is grazing land but part toward its southern end has been in low-key sporadic use in recent years for storage of materials and commercial vehicle parking. There is low density housing along the road frontage on the opposite side of Holt Road, in Broadland district, to the west and airport operational buildings on Gambling Close to the east. The site is partly screened by a line of hedge/trees fronting Holt Road.
This site is identified as suitable for airport operational uses as the further development of Norwich International Airport, important to economic development locally, is supported by the JCS. However, it is also potentially suitable to meet more general employment needs which may be airport related. This is supported by policy 5 of the JCS and the recent designation of the airport as a focus for growth and investment as part of the Greater Norwich City Deal.
The government strongly recommends licensed airports to set out their future development proposals by preparing a masterplan. The expectation of the city council for many years has been that the need for this site for operational uses to enable further airport expansion would be investigated fully through the preparation of a masterplan which would be produced by the airport. The airport company have confirmed their intention to commence work on a masterplan in 2015.
The major Norwich Aeropark development to the north-east (approved in 2013) is expected to accommodate a substantial amount of future operational development within the airport boundary, although the airport has not confirmed whether additional land will be required for this purpose. Equally, it would not be appropriate to delay beneficial development of the Paddocks site unreasonably if the preparation of a masterplan were delayed for any reason.
Consequently the policy provides for two eventualities: development for airport operational purposes if a masterplan shows that the site is necessary for this, or development for general needs employment use if not. Should no masterplan be agreed within two years of the adoption of this plan, the policy allows for the release of the site for general employment purposes, subject to meeting specified access and design criteria.
The anticipated development of the Aeropark and the proximity of a major junction with the proposed Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR) mean that traffic flows on the A140 are likely to remain high for the foreseeable future. Standing advice from Norfolk County council as local highway authority is that vehicular access direct from the A140 and additional turning movements into and out of the site cannot be achieved without disrupting the free flow of traffic on the local highway network and potentially compromising its effectiveness as a bus rapid transport corridor. For highway safety reasons, therefore, the preferred access to the site is from Gambling Close rather than directly from Holt Road unless it can be demonstrated that direct access can be achieved without unacceptable transportation consequences.
The development’s design and uses must take account of the need to protect the amenity of the residents of the housing on the opposite side of Holt Road.
A noise impact assessment is likely to be required for any operational uses proposed. Development on this land will require additional screening with landscape features to site boundaries facing towards Holt Road.
As the site is more than 1 hectare in size, a flood risk assessment is required.
The site is suitable and available for development within the plan period.
The owner of the site proposed it for a general needs employment allocation. This is considered to be acceptable in principle but is subject to resolution of access constraints and confirmation that the site is not required for airport operational purposes.
POLICY R30: The Paddocks, Holt Road – Airport extension or development for general employment purposes
The Paddocks, Holt Road, is allocated for either:
- airport operational uses, where an airport masterplan endorsed by the city council within two years from the adoption of this plan demonstrates that the land is required for airport operational purposes during the plan period, or;
- development for general employment purposes (use classes B1, B2 and B8) where:
a) the agreed airport masterplan referred to above demonstrates that the land will not be required for airport operational purposes during the plan period, or;
b) no masterplan for the airport has been endorsed by the city council within two years from the date of adoption of this plan.
In all cases, development will:
- provide vehicular access to the site only from Gambling Close, unless it can be demonstrated that satisfactory direct access from Holt Road can be achieved without unacceptable impacts on highway safety or the free flow of traffic;
- provide appropriately for servicing, parking and other transportation requirements, taking account of the need to promote sustainable transport in accordance with DM policy DM28;
- demonstrate (through a noise impact assessment) that appropriate account has been taken of the potential impacts of noise from existing and proposed airport operations and noise generation from the development itself, in accordance with DM policy DM11;
- incorporate suitable boundary treatment, screening to the Holt Road frontage and mitigation measures to reduce the impact of the development on the outlook and living conditions of adjoining and nearby residents, in accordance with DM policies DM2 and DM3.