New housing plan for Broadland area

THOUSANDS of new homes in the Broadland area must not become a “dormitory” for Norwich, according to council bosses who have set aside �340,000 to help prevent that happening.

THOUSANDS of new homes in the Broadland area must not become a “dormitory” for Norwich, according to council bosses who have set aside �340,000 to help prevent that happening.

Officers at Broadland District Council have identified a 1,864 hectare “growth triangle”, where new homes are set to be built within the next two decades and warn this scale of development is “unprecedented” in Broadland.

Homes are set to spring up in what officers have dubbed a “growth triangle” based around three areas, one of which is Rackheath Eco Town.

The second is on land to the east of Wroxham Road, continuing through to Broadland Business Park and almost circling Thorpe End, while the third area extends west of Wroxham Road towards Norwich International Airport.

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Council officers say that will create a “major challenge” for the authority in making sure the developments are guided properly - and say the normal route of using planning regulations to control it will not be enough.

The authority has established a fund of �338,000 to support the Broadland Growth Project and Phil Kirby, strategic director and chief planner, will next Tuesday present councillors with a report about the scheme.

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He said: “It is easy to focus on the scale of the development as being the key issue. It is more than that. This is also about a radical change in the way new communities are constructed, served, governed and connected.

“The delivery of jobs is a key factor, for without the employment in the right locations to support the new residents, the growth area will become a dormitory for Norwich.

“This should not be left to chance and the council should take an active role, therefore, in seeking to encourage the expansion of existing businesses, identify sectors for growth and positively source new opportunities, and engage in discussions with potential service operators which may shape the characteristics of the new communities.”

The council is considering whether one way of ensuring tighter control would be in gaining a financial stake in the project, by having an equity share in developments.

Simon Woodbridge, leader of Broadland District Council, said it was “absolutely crucial” that the local authority took hold of the issue.

He said: “The Conservative administration is looking to draw up a code for developers that will test whether the developer shares the same ambitions we have in terms of matters such as employment, environment and design.

“There are guidelines from government, but they do not come up to what we will have locally. This is about understanding what sort of infrastructure will be needed in the future, including education.”

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