McCarthy Stone  (Bluebell Road) Phase 3 Online Consultation

McCarthy Stone are carrying out a pre-planning application consultation for Phase 3 of their development on Bluebell Road. Unfortunately, the window for a response is very short, being barely a week, ending on Saturday 19th February.

The consultation is here.

Pre-application consultations are a valuable opportunity to influence the detail of an application prior to its submission. Once an application has been submitted for approval its details are more difficult to change.

Phase 1 of the development was for more than 60 residences which have already been occupied. Phase 2 of more than 40 residences already has planning approval, but has not yet been started. Phase 3 will be for over 100 residences in apartments and bungalows,  and should complete the development of the site. The Strawberry field has already been released as public green space, and more public green space will be released to the west of the residences as the development progresses. Marshland adjacent to the river will also be protected.

Please make a response to the application if you feel able. Some things you might think about with respect to the Valley are:

  • Protection of views from the Yare Valley including the Strawberry Field and other released green space. Some buildings are three storey.
  • Views from Bluebell Road through the development towards the valley.
  • Access to green space from the development and through the development from the Bluebell Road.
  • Layout and character of footpaths in green space.
  • How green space areas should be managed in the future.
  • Permeability of the development to wildlife
  • Is this density of housing and level of parking spaces appropriate for a development adjacent to the Yare Valley Green Infrastructure corridor?

Have a say on the Lasdun Wall

UEA are preparing a planning application for proposals to refurbish and extend part of the Lasdun Wall. The extension is in the vicinity of the Chancellors Lodge near where Chancellors Drive joins University Drive.

North west side of Lasdun Wall

The extension will be on the north west side of the wall, increasing the width of the wall.

A public pre-planning consultation will be held in the Foyer of the Enterprise Centre at the UEA on Wednesday 2nd February 3–7pm. The proposals are not expected to have a significant impact on the Valley green space, but the YVS committee will scrutinise them carefully.

The Enterprise Centre is the “straw” building on University Drive, opposite the Sportspark car park. 

If you are unable be there in person, the proposals, and an opportunity to comment, will be at www.uea-lasdunwall-phase1.co.uk from 2nd to the 18th  February.

Hearings on the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP)

The National Planning Inspectors examining the Local Plan will be holding hearings on “Matters Issues and Questions” in two parts. Part One is from 1st to the 10th of February, and Part Two begins on Tuesday 2nd March 9.30 am. It is Part Two that will be looking at “Matters Issues and Concerns” relating to Valley green space. These are contained in Matter 14 “Other site allocations and site-specific policies”, Issues 1 and 2:

Issue 1 University related allocations: c. Land between Suffolk Walk and Bluebell Road (Ref GNLP0133DR) and d. Land at the UEA Grounds Depot Site, Bluebell Road (Ref GNLP0133E).

The YVS has made detailed representations to the inspectors under Regulation 19 on these two sites.

Issue 2 Open space / leisure applications: a. Bawburgh and Colney Lakes (Ref BAW2).

YVS supports the inclusion of the lakes as a Country Park in the GNLP.

More information of the progress of the GNLP on the GNLP website

 

New Masterplan for East Norwich emerging

The Yare Valley Society is keeping a watching brief on the new Masterplan emerging for East Norwich and has engaged in a Zoom consultation with other stakeholders.

The Masterplan will embrace four sites:

  1. Carrow Works – the former Colman’s factory site
  2. Deal Ground – large site east of the railway
  3. May Gurney – former HQ site for local firm
  4. Utilities sites – former power station site

The Masterplan will impact on the Yare Valley, and the Society’s objectives in relation to the Masterplan are:

  • To safeguard the green infrastructure corridor of the Yare Valley.
  • To promote biodiversity in the Valley
  • To promote walking and cycling routes along the valley to Whitlingham Country Park and to link them with the River Wensum walking and cycling routes.

Information on the developing Masterplan can be found here.

“Planning for the Future” paused – but threat remains

In December of last year YVS thanked members who had responded to what was a difficult government consultation document on proposals for reforms to the local planning system contained in the White Paper “Planning for the Future”. YVS and its members joined many environmental groups in expressing concerns about the adverse impact many of the reforms would have on green space and biodiversity.

It was with considerable relief among environmental groups that following a government reshuffle, which saw Michael Gove become the new housing secretary, it was announced the proposed reforms were being paused.

The CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England) sees this as a campaign win, but paused is not the same as stopped. We must remain alert to any possible relaunch.

Yare Valley Society declares GNLP unsound

The Yare Valley Society is objecting to the GNLP on the grounds of the Plan being unsound in respect of two of its policies:

Policy GNLP0133DR: Land between Suffolk Walk and Bluebell Road

Policy GNLP0133-E: Land at the UEA Grounds Depot Site, Bluebell Road University of East Anglia.

See Consultations page for more details.

Next Phase of Local Plan Consultations

The Greater Norwich Local Plan will go forward for a six week Regulation 19 publication period, which will start at 09.00 on Monday 1 February 2021 and close at 17.00 on Monday 15 March 2021.  No representations will be accepted outside of this period. See Consultations.

Widespread opposition to Government White Paper Proposals

A big thank you to all who responded to the Yare Valley Society call to respond to the Government’s White Paper “Planning for the Future” Consultation. It was not an easy undertaking. The consultation ended on 29 October.

Another thank you if your added your name to the CPRE (Council for the Preservation of Rural England) petition against some of the key proposals.

The YVS committee saw the government’s proposals as a major attack on local democracy and a threat to the ability of the YVS and its members to safeguard the green space of the Yare Valley in the future.

We are not alone.

On 8th December the CPRE with other campaigners headed to Westminster, to hand in 310,265 signatures calling for the government to stop its “disastrous plans” to change our planning laws.

The CPRE writes:

“We commissioned a poll of MPs and found that over half of Conservative MPs weren’t happy with the proposals – the same proposals that had come from their own party! So it came as no surprise to us to see a fiery debate in the House of Commons where 46 MPs spoke out against the plans – and even more wanted to, but the debate simply ran out of time.

Of these 46 MPs publicly voicing their unhappiness with the suggested changes, a huge 33 were from the Conservative Party – including former Prime Minister Theresa May. The issues that they were raising were just as we’ve been saying for many months: that the plans would lead to building on green spaces near to where people live (the very local green spaces that have been so important to so many of us during the pandemic year); that fewer homes that people could actually afford to live in would be built; and that the chances for people to get involved in shaping the future of where they live would be eroded.

And it’s not just the government’s own MPs who have problems with the plans. Organisations from across the environmental, housing and planning sectors have come together to say a big NO to the existing proposals. We were one of more than 30 groups who sent a letter to the Prime Minister warning of the disastrous impacts on nature and people if he dismantled the planning system.”

YVS will be looking for a positive response from the government to address the concerns raised. If it fails to do so YVS will be asking members to take action again.

Yare Valley Society responds to “Planning for the Future”

The Yare Valley Society response to the consultation on the Government’s White Paper on the future of Planning can now be read on the Consultation Page.

Do not leave it to the Society alone. Please make your personal response to the consultation. More information on how to do this is on the Consultation Page.

Don’t forget to sign the Council for the Protection of Rural England’s (CPRE’s) petition