The 1.08 hectare site consists of hard court tennis courts and part of a grassed playing field. It is within the Hewett school campus, located between the recently developed Goals Soccer Centre / Norwich Dragons hockey pitches, developed on former school playing fields, and the southern buildings of Hewett School. The main Hewett School playing field is to the north-west, separated from the site by a row of trees. Hall Road is to the east of the site, with a local police station and the Hewett Yard business area, allocated in this plan for housing development in this plan (site R4), opposite the Hall Road frontage of the site. The road links through to the outer ring road and the southern by-pass further south.
This part of Hall Road includes a mixture of residential uses with a warehouse retail park and a proposed new district centre nearby to the south of the outer ring road.
The site was allocated in the 2004 Replacement local plan primarily for urban green space. The site is now being allocated as a community facility. The council seeks to protect and improve the provision of viable community facilities that play an important role in the social infrastructure of the city.
The site has been put forward by the Hewett School for a family and community support centre for both students and the local community.
The disposal of school playing field should be addressed through Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 prior to any subsequent planning application. It is a requirement that any proceeds from the disposal of school playing fields is used for specific projects to improve or enhance sports or educational facilities.
Whilst the development would involve the loss of the tennis courts and green space, it is considered that the provision of new community facilities would be of greater benefit to the school and community, contributing to general amenity. In addition, the extensive remaining school fields provide a wide range of sports pitches and facilities, including grass tennis courts.
Hall Road is an important arterial route. The access to the site and car parking provision should be shared or integrated, where appropriate with the access to the football and hockey pitches and no new vehicle access should be taken from Hall Road. Design and layout should improve cycle and pedestrian access from Hall Road. A link should also be provided to and from the School.
Design of buildings needs careful consideration. Any scheme should involve the enhancement of on-site landscaping and street trees to soften any visual impacts. The loss of existing trees along Hall Road and to the west of the site should be avoided.
Since the site is over 1 hectare, a flood risk assessment is required and appropriate mitigation measures should be provided as part of the development.
The community project is actively being pursued by the school. The site is suitable and available for community facility development.
POLICY R5: Part of school playing field of Hewett School – community facility development
The site on part of Hewett School playing field is allocated for the development of a community facility. The facility will be primarily a family and community support centre although other equivalent forms of community facilities could also be provided on this site.
Development should be designed to:
- share the access and parking with recent neighbouring sports development;
- provide an active street frontage;
- provide a pedestrian and cycle link to the school; and
- be well landscaped and to protect trees on site