The site is part of the former Livestock Market site and is 4.5 hectares in size. Some of the original livestock market structures still remain in use and the large surface car park on the south is partly used by Royal Mail as a temporary lorry parking area, whilst the northern part of the site is largely vacant. A gas storage facility is on the eastern part of the site and a Health and Safety Executive consultation zone exists around this part of the site. There are mature trees bordering the northern boundary of the site.
The site is neighboured to the north by commercial uses, with a mixture of business units, warehouses and car showrooms. There is a large single storey retail unit to the south-west, the majority of which is occupied by a DIY store and the remainder of which is vacant. The site borders railway lines to the south and east and there are houses and a hotel to the west of the roundabout on Hall Road which forms the entrance to the site. The site is within 250 metres of a former landfill site to the south.
The roundabout on Hall Road was constructed as part of the DIY store development. The junction of Hall Road and Ipswich Road is to the south-west of the entrance and the site is approximately 1.5 miles from the A47 Norwich southern by-pass.
The Greater Norwich employment sites and premises study identifies Hall Road as a major employment site of strategic importance and emphasises the importance of retaining such sites for employment uses to meet growth needs in the face of pressure for retail use. Located close to the southern by-pass, the site is therefore allocated for general industrial (B2) and/or warehouse (B8) uses to ensure sufficient employment opportunities are created in the city. There may be some limited scope for car showroom development on the site frontage with Hall Road which would conform with other similar uses to the north.
The site is part of the larger Replacement local plan (adopted 2004) allocation for a high quality business park. Since adoption of that local plan, part of the original allocation site has been developed for retailing with a new access and associated car park.
The access arrangements currently serving the site, including the Hall Road junction with Ipswich Road, may need to be upgraded to accommodate greater vehicle movements associated with any redevelopment, depending upon the nature and scale of the development proposed.
Development must address the site constraints of potential contamination, risks associated with the proximity to hazardous substances (if a phased redevelopment is proposed), demolition of existing buildings, protection and/or replacement of trees on or adjacent to the site and noise due to proximity to the railway lines and wider impacts arising from the redevelopment itself on nearby housing in Tuckswood. Since the Yare Valley is a sub-regional green infrastructure corridor, the development will be required to provide a pedestrian and cycle link across the site from Hall Road to the River Yare riverside walk to the east.
As the site is over 1 hectare in size, a flood risk assessment and any necessary flood mitigation measures are required.
The site was recently sold by the city council to a private owner. Parts of the site are subject to leasehold and tenancy agreements and lease options and relocation of the remaining Livestock Market are likely to occur within the plan period. Therefore there is a reasonable prospect that the site will be delivered during the plan period, although redevelopment is likely to be phased to accommodate site occupant relocation.
POLICY R1: The Neatmarket, Hall Road – employment development
The Neatmarket site is allocated for employment development. Development will predominantly be for general industrial (B2) and/or warehouses (B8) and may include ancillary office uses (B1) and some limited car showroom development to the site frontage with Hall Road.
A comprehensive scheme for the whole site is preferred. If this is not achievable then a phased scheme will be accepted if supported by a comprehensive strategy for the site which demonstrates that account has been taken of existing uses and their impacts and requirements, including access.
The main site roadway and pedestrian and cycle link should be delivered as part of a first phase of any phased development
Appropriate vehicular access to serve the development proposed from Hall Road will need to be provided. The development will also need to facilitate on-site and provide financial assistance towards off-site works to enable a pedestrian and cycle link across the site from Hall Road to link to the River Yare riverside walk.
A noise assessment is required and the design of development must mitigate the impact of noise from the neighbouring railways.
Development should take into account the existing trees on or near the site which may be affected by the proposals and should make provision for mitigatory planting and appropriate enhancement.