Another Planning Application for McCarthy Stone Bluebell Road site.

Planning application for hole in the ground “Pond” reduces public green space

Another application, 22/01567/F, has been made relating to the McCarthy Stone phase 3 development on Bluebell Road. The application is for enlarging the attenuation pond constructed for water runoff of phases 1 and 2 to cope with phase 3. The use of “pond” although not technically incorrect may give a misleading picture of what is being proposed. Attenuation ponds for developments can be unsightly and potentially dangerous. An attenuation pond in a public access green space linked into the projected Yare Valley Parkway should be more than a hole in the ground. It should be safe and add to the amenity of the open space rather than detract from it.

Existing Attenuation Pond for phases 1 and 2.

The Yare Valley Society has several concerns about the proposals:

Restriction of public green space

The pond extension as positioned would further restrict the Public Access Green Space being made available under phase 2 of the development (now under construction). It should be a separate pond contained within the original Phase 3 development area.


Insufficient attention has been paid to measures that could reduce the size of the attenuation pond e.g. by a greater use of water permeable surfaces of drives, roads and parking areas etc., and by use of rainwater harvesting (e.g., rainwater tubs, rain gardens) within the site.

Design and Planting

Insufficient attention has been given to its design and planting. It is a large feature in a public green space and so itshould be sculpted to create a natural setting. It should then be planted with trees, shrubs and other plants to improve visual appearance, provide safe public access, and provide habitats for wildlife.

Water Quality

It is not clear what steps are to be taken to ensure the water entering the pond is of sufficiently good quality to avoid hazard to wildlife or to the public.


A Management Regime will need to be put in place to maintain and improve biodiversity, amenity, and water quality of the attenuation pond into the future.

What is possible?

The attenuation pond is a SUD (Sustainable Drainage System), and modern designs for SUDs in public green spaces maximise the potential for SUDs to contribute to the ecology and amenity of their surroundings. Key design principles for SUDS can be found on p 11 of the RSPB publication “Sustainable Drainage Systems – Maximising the potential for people and wildlife” . The publication shows what is possible with foresight and planning.

If you share the YVS concerns, please respond to this application by going to the Norwich Planning website, and inserting the reference 22/01567/F for details. Please make clear in your response why a properly designed and sited attenuation pond is important to you personally. Please act ASAP.

The Yare Valley Society’s submission on the application is here.