30. The DM policies plan is a statement of local planning policy for the city of Norwich which supports and interprets the overall planning framework and strategic policies for greater Norwich set out in the adopted JCS covering Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk. The JCS provides the overall vision for the area, which sets the context for this plan.
31. As such, the spatial planning objectives for both this plan and the Site allocations plan will be the same as those in the JCS, except where those objectives are specific to areas and locations outside the city boundary. For clarity, the spatial planning objectives of the JCS are set out in table 2. The overall vision for the greater Norwich area is not reproduced in this plan but can be found in the JCS.
32. Proposals for all new development in Norwich will, consequently, be expected to take account of and help achieve these spatial planning objectives whilst complying with the specific policies and requirements of this plan.
Spatial planning objectives
33. Spatial planning objectives provide the framework to monitor the success of the JCS. They are derived from the Sustainable community strategies for each of the three districts.
To minimise the contributors to climate change and address its impact
Throughout Broadland, Norwich and South Norfolk, high standards of design and sustainable access will be promoted to reduce greenhouse gases and adapt to the impact of climate change. Zero and low carbon developments will be encouraged. Water efficiency will be a priority in both new and existing development. New development will generally be guided away from areas with a high probability of flooding. Where new development in such areas is desirable for reasons of sustainability (e.g. in the city centre), flood mitigation will be required and flood protection will be maintained and enhanced.
To allocate enough land for housing, and affordable housing, in the most sustainable settlements
The type, size and tenure, including affordable housing, will meet the needs identified by the Greater Norwich sub regional housing assessments. Most new homes will be built in the Norwich Policy Area (around 33,000 out of 36,820 between 2008 and 2026). Smaller sustainable settlements will accommodate smaller-scale growth. People will have alternatives to using cars and new housing, employment and services will be planned so they are grouped together wherever possible. The settlement hierarchy defines the towns and villages with a good range of jobs, services and facilities. Appropriate densities will make sure land is used efficiently and community needs will be met.
To promote economic growth and diversity and provide a wide range of jobs
Existing employment sites will be safeguarded and enough land for employment development will be allocated to meet the needs of inward investment, new businesses and existing businesses wishing to expand or relocate. Norwich city centre will continue to exert a powerful economic influence over the wider area. Its growth will be further encouraged, so that the centre remains one of the best in the country for retail and employment. Within the Norwich Policy Area, Thorpe St Andrew, Longwater, Norwich Research Park, Norwich Airport, Rackheath, Hethel and Wymondham will also be the focus of further jobs growth.
Supporting economic growth in the market towns and revitalising the rural economy are also priorities. Mixed-use development, live/ work units and diversification schemes will be encouraged to reduce the need for local people to commute long distances to work. As the employment needs of the area are so diverse it is essential to provide jobs for all people in the community.
To promote regeneration and reduce deprivation
There are significant concentrations of deprivation in Norwich, as well as equally serious pockets of deprivation in surrounding towns, villages and rural areas. Growth will be used to bring benefits to local people, especially those in deprived communities, to regenerate communities, local economies, under-used brownfield land and neighbourhoods by creating safe, healthy, prosperous, sustainable and inclusive communities. Development and growth will be used to bring benefits to local people, especially those in deprived communities
To allow people to develop to their full potential by providing educational facilities to support the needs of a growing population
Within Broadland, Norwich and South Norfolk there is a need to improve, expand and develop new education provision to serve an increasing population and higher educational aspirations. It is essential to provide an environment and the facilities to improve the skills of the workforce to support the developing economy of the area.
To make sure people have ready access to services
Norwich city centre will continue to provide a wide range of services accessible to a very wide area. The diversity, vitality and accessibility of the city centre will be maintained and enhanced. Investment will be encouraged in district and local centres to enhance accessibility, vitality and viability. The surrounding market towns and service centres will continue to play a key service role. Innovative approaches will be taken to support rural service provision. Wherever new homes or jobs are to be developed, existing supporting services must either already be adequate or will be provided at the right stage of a new development. This will ensure existing and future residents and workers will have access to the services they need.
To enhance transport provision to meet the needs of existing and future populations while reducing travel need and impact
The location and design of development will reduce the need to travel especially by private car. Greater use of sustainable modes of transport will be encouraged by better public transport, footways and cycle networks, and by co-location of housing with services, jobs, shops, schools and recreational facilities. A Bus Rapid Transit system and general enhancement to bus infrastructure will be introduced on key routes in the Norwich area. The strategic road network is also essential, especially for the health of the economy. The road network will provide improved access within Broadland, Norwich and South Norfolk in particular through the construction of the Northern Distributor Road. More than 90% of the area is rural and rural isolation can be reduced by encouraging newer communication and information technologies.
To positively protect and enhance the individual character and culture of the area
Promoting culture will help to develop the economy, stimulate further regeneration, increase sustainable tourism and promote community involvement. The role of Norwich as the cultural capital of East Anglia will be enhanced, so local people and visitors have access to a variety of facilities such as theatres, art galleries, museums and buildings of architectural and historic interest. Smaller scale cultural opportunities exist throughout the rest of the area and, in particular, in the market towns. Adequate public open space, sport and recreational facilities, as well as access to the countryside, is needed locally to make sure everyone can take part in community activities. More visitors will be encouraged to the area by protecting the very qualities that make the area attractive. Gateways between the wider Norwich area and the Broads, the Brecks and the coast will be enhanced in a way that does not harm their special character
To protect, manage and enhance the natural, built and historic environment, including key landscapes, natural resources and areas of natural habitat or nature conservation value
The area is a special place and everyone should be proud of where they live, work, or study. Norwich has a remarkable historic centre with some fine architecture. There are also extensive areas of open space, historic parks and gardens, wildlife sites and wooded ridges in the city. The surrounding market towns and villages are very attractive with each having its own identity. People living in the area have access to open countryside, river valleys, wildlife sites and the special qualities of the Broads and the coast. It is a priority to maintain and improve these special qualities so that everyone can enjoy them. The use of previously developed land will be prioritised to minimise the loss of agricultural land and the countryside. The scale of development we have to accommodate will require the development of some significant greenfield areas, which will affect the existing landscape. Where this is necessary, development must provide environmental gains through green infrastructure, including allotments and community gardens. Biodiversity, geodiversity and locally distinctive landscapes will be protected and enhanced. Linkages between habitats will be promoted, helping to enable adaptation to climate change. Sustainable access to the countryside will be promoted. Efficient use will be made of minerals, energy and water resources, and the production of waste will be minimised.
To be a place where people feel safe in their communities
People will have a stronger sense of belonging and pride in peoples’ surroundings. There will be reduced crime and the fear of crime. Better community facilities, better road safety and design of new developments will help to reduce crime.
To encourage the development of healthy and active lifestyles
Within Broadland, Norwich and South Norfolk the accessibility of open space, the countryside, sports and recreational facilities will be improved. People will also be offered the best opportunities to make healthy travel choices as part of their daily lives. By working with NHS Norfolk and Norfolk County Council, medical and social facilities will be properly planned for new developments and will be accessible to all.
To involve as many people as possible in new planning policy
All sections of the community will be actively encouraged to express their own vision of the future through this strategy, further plans and planning applications. There will be a particular focus on involving people who have not previously had a say in planning. As many people as possible should play a part in the ambitious long-term plans for growth across the whole area. This will help make planning more inclusive, and give confidence that the benefits of growth are felt more equally across existing and new communities in and around Norwich.