Proposed building development on Colney Hall Estate in the Yare Valley

The Colney Hall estate lies to the south of Bawburgh Lakes and west of Bowthorpe Southern Park. It is a key contributor to the landscape character and biodiversity of the Valley. Access to the estate is from the B1108 Watton Road.

An outline planning application for part of the Estate, with all matters reserved except access, has been submitted to South Norfolk District Council for a retirement living community of up to 210 extra care units with associated communal facilities, a 20 bed care home, an Innovation Centre to include; academic spaces, flexible office/ research and development spaces and administration offices and 20 student resident 6-bed flats and all matters reserved except for access.

Details of the development can be found at South Norfolk Planning by searching under reference 2022/1547.

A good start point is under the documents tab: Landscape & visual appraisal.

This is a major development on an environmentally sensitive site in the Yare Valley. The site lies outside of the areas approved for development in the Greater Norwich Local Plan. South Norfolk District Council Policies are also in force that are intended to safeguard the green landscape around Norwich, in particular Policy DM 4.5 Landscape Character and River Valleys, and Policy DM 4.6 Landscape Setting.

The Yare Valley Society committee is seriously concerned about this threat to build on the green space of the valley. The development can expect to impact on the visual landscape and biodiversity of the valley, and the effectiveness of the valley corridor in mitigating the effects of climate change (e.g. by reducing flooding downstream).

More about the development can be found in the YVS October 2022 Newsletter.

Please add your voice to that of the Yare Valley Society by writing in to South Norfolk District Council Planning Department giving your own personal view on this proposed development in the green space of the Valley.

Update: Technically the deadline for responses has now passed, but the South Norfolk Planning Department have assured YVS that comments will continue to be accepted up to the time of determination of the application. Please submit your comments ASAP.

Information about Outline Planning Applications

This is an outline planning application with all matters reserved except access. Applications of this kind can be used as a way of establishing the principle of development on a site, without committing to the precise nature of the development.

If Outline Planning Permission is granted further detail of the reserved matters must be agreed at a later stage. This means detail in the application could change, including the development’s appearance, landscaping, layout and scale. For more information see the National Planning Portal at