This city council owned site is 0.44 hectares in size and is currently occupied by a range of small business uses including motor repairs, car spraying / valeting, printing and domestic appliance servicing. The buildings on site date from the Second World War. They are mostly single storey and of utilitarian brick and block-work construction, comprising functional industrial units and garaging. There is a mature tree belt screening the west side of the site on the frontage to Hall Road and trees along the southern boundary separating the site from the adjoining McDonalds drive through restaurant and petrol filling station (162 Barrett Road). The lime trees along the southern boundary are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO 269). Vehicular access from Hall Road is via an unmade service road which operates one-way circulation with access at the south end and egress at the north end of the site.
Hewett Yard is located on the east side of Hall Road just north of its junction with the outer ring road (A146). Hall Road is a busy radial road serving the south part of the city including the major employment areas and retail park lying south of the ring road. The area to the east is predominantly residential, characterised by low density local authority housing built in the 1940s and 50s. There is a local police beat base station just to the north. Land on the west side of Hall Road accommodates the school buildings and extensive playing fields of Hewett School. The recently developed “Goals” football centre occupies part of the former playing field land directly opposite Hewett Yard.
Hewett Yard was originally constructed in the 1940s during World War Two as a local civil defence HQ and ambulance station, the latter role continuing in peacetime. The buildings were adapted as lock up garages and low cost accommodation for small businesses in the early 1980s. The site operates with the benefit of planning permission for light industrial and warehousing use dating from 1982. In recognition of its early civil defence role in the local community the buildings are locally listed and are therefore subject to the requirements of development management policy DM9 which requires justification for the loss of a locally identified heritage asset and providing (in the event of redevelopment) for the appropriate recording of the heritage interest of the site and its inclusion in the Heritage Environment Record. Some form of on-site heritage interpretation is also likely to be required. Policy DM7 provides for the protection of trees along the southern and (as appropriate) the western boundaries.
Although established for many years as a small business site, the Hewett Yard buildings are of poor quality and it is unlikely to be practicable or cost-effective to upgrade them in the long term for modern business requirements. Redevelopment for residential purposes would give the opportunity for beneficial regeneration of a site in an accessible and sustainable location with good access to public transport, located in a predominantly residential area. Any scheme for comprehensive redevelopment should investigate opportunities to provide for the relocation of viable local businesses to alternative accessible sites or premises in the area.
The site is served by regular bus service along Hall Road. It is close to a range of facilities in the nearby St Johns Close local centre, Tuckswood surgery, Hall Road Retail Park and the proposed Hall Road district centre, Development will help to enhance the character and appearance of this part of Hall Road and complement existing residential development in the surrounding area.
Development proposals must address the site’s constraints. These include the potential impact on protected lime trees along the northern boundary of the adjacent site, trees along the frontage to Hall Road, noise from main road traffic and activity at the adjacent drive through restaurant, potential contamination from existing and previous uses and the need for demolition of existing buildings. Since it is not considered economically viable, practicable or justifiable to retain any part of the existing structures as part of redevelopment of the site, the heritage significance of Hewett Yard should be recognised through appropriate photographic recording of the site and its inclusion on the Heritage Environment Record. Some form of heritage interpretation to commemorate the former wartime civil defence role of the site would be appropriate in redevelopment proposals.
Vehicular and pedestrian access should be taken from Hall Road although it will be necessary to upgrade and widen any access road to adoptable standard. In view of the cluster of existing vehicular accesses and egresses serving neighbouring premises close to a busy roundabout junction, there may be potential to replace the two existing access points to Hewett Yard with a single vehicular access at the north end of the site which could also serve the adjoining police station. Any new access should seek to retain and enhance the existing tree belt along the road frontage.
It is understood that there may be established rights of access across the site to residential rear gardens in Randolf Road.
The site is owned by Norwich City Council. Subject to the surrender of the existing leases, the relocation of existing business users to appropriate alternative premises and a possible need to investigate and address existing access rights, it is considered to be suitable and available for development within the plan period.
POLICY R4: Hewett Yard, Hall Road – housing development
Hewett Yard, Hall Road is allocated for housing development. In the region of 20 dwellings will be provided.
- take vehicular and pedestrian access from Hall Road (seeking, where practicable, to rationalise the number of separate vehicular access points serving the site and adjoining sites);
- retain and enhance the established tree belt along the Hall Road frontage and safeguard the Tree Preservation Order trees alongside the southern boundary of the site during construction;
- address any identified need for decontamination and remediation of the site; and
- provide for the recording of the heritage significance of existing locally listed buildings and include appropriate heritage interpretation within the site.
A noise assessment is required, and design must mitigate the impact on future residents of traffic noise and noise from neighbouring uses.