The site is 0.19 hectare in size and is located on the eastern side of Ber Street at its junction with Horns Lane. The site is currently occupied by a temporary retail unit occupied by a cash and carry retail shop and another building fronting Ber Street, and includes open space to the rear, currently used for staff and customer parking. The site also includes part of the Ber Street escarpment, which forms a wooded ridge on Richmond Hill, a prominent natural landscape feature and an ecological link in the Wensum Valley.
There are a number of listed and locally listed buildings directly opposite the site on the west side of Ber Street.
Ber Street has been a major route out of the city since at least the 12th century, and is thought to have originally been a Roman Road. Its use as a cattle drove to the old cattle market adjacent to the Castle is reflected in its unusual width. Today, following bomb damage during the Second World War and subsequent redevelopment, the street is fragmented in character. There are remnants of its earlier character, together with much mid 20th century housing. The area is predominantly residential with some office development, and other commercial uses along Ber Street.
The JCS promotes the city centre as the main focus in the sub-region for retail, leisure and office development, with housing and educational development also adding to the vibrancy of the centre. The key diagram for the city centre identifies the site as being within an ‘area of change’ where the focus of change is through mixed use development, including commercial and residential development.
Redevelopment of this site for a mix of uses including residential, offices and retail will help deliver the wider policy objectives of the JCS by contributing to the improved vibrancy of this part of the city centre and strengthening the city’s sub-regional role.
Development of the site must address a number of constraints including its location with the City Centre Conservation Area and the Area of Main Archaeological Interest, its location adjacent to wooded ridge referred to above, and ground conditions including possible former chalk workings on the site.
The development of the site provides an opportunity to deliver a vibrant mixed use site fronting Ber Street, which will contribute positively to the character of the street, and will remove two ‘negative’ buildings which currently detract from its streetscape and character.
The site is suitable for around 20 dwellings as part of a mixed use development, with some retail development, ideally along the Ber Street frontage, and / or an element of office development. Development must enhance the setting of the neighbouring listed buildings and reflect its location in the City Centre Conservation Area. Its design must re-instate a strong building line along the street frontage, whilst respecting the area’s important topography. Development must retain and enhance the wooded ridge for biodiversity.
Vehicular access should be taken from Horns Lane.
An archaeological investigation will be required prior to development.
This site is owned by Norwich City council and is suitable and available for development within the plan period.
POLICY CC1: 60 to 70 Ber Street – mixed use development
The site at 60-70 Ber Street is allocated for redevelopment for a mix of uses including:
- a minimum of 20 units of housing; and
- retail development (at ground floor level) and/or office development.
Access to the site will be from Horns Lane.
The development must be designed to:
- strengthen the building line along Ber Street;
- enhance the setting of the listed and locally listed buildings in the vicinity;
- respect the topography of the area, particularly the wooded ridge;
- retain and enhance the portion of the wooded ridge on site for biodiversity;
- the public footpath and green link on the wooded ridge on the north-east side of the site should be retained and enhanced.