NCFC urged to rethink flats plan

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:14 14 September 2010

SHAUN LOWTHORPE

Norwich City Football Club bosses were last night urged to rethink their tactics over a multi-million pound riverside housing development close to Carrow Road.

Norwich City Football Club bosses were last night urged to rethink their tactics over a multi-million pound riverside housing development close to Carrow Road.

The club has submitted plans to Norwich City Council to build apartments on vacant land close to the stadium and former Laurence and Scott land next door.

Supporters believe that a development could bring in millions of pounds to the club -and help boost the transfer kitty of manager Nigel Worthington.

And one property expert said the land could be worth between £1m and £2m per acre. But much would depend on the final numbers of homes built and the planning conditions laid down.

The club acquired the Laurence Scott site in 2003 and the proposed housing fits in with a project for a 150-bed hotel at the corner of Carrow Road and Kerrison Road. Planning permission has also been granted for a mult-use games area and a seven-a-side sport pitch on the northern section of the Laurence Scott site

The latest proposals include two large apartment blocks with one likely to be between six and eight stories high and the other being between six and fourteen storeys.

But members of the Broads Authority want the development ruled offside because of its scale.

They felt that the so-called masterplan was too intrusive and would spoil or block the views of river users coming into the city and create a “dominant and overbearing aspect to the river”.

And they were concerned about the lack of details for any river front moorings.

A report raised also raised concerns about constructing buildings using copper and timber adding that the tower blocks would “completely dominate this particularly sensitive approach to the city from the open rural aspect of Whitlingham and create a tunnel effect from the river”.

Cyril Durrant, vice-chairman of the Authority's planning meeting, which considered the proposal said the club should think again.

“We didn't like it and chucked it out,” he said. “We do not want a towering inferno like that. You can nearly see Ipswich from it.

“It's the boats entrance to the city and it's not the sort of thing we would like to see there.”

Carrow Road chief executive Neil Doncaster, said he noted the concerns, but stressed the development would have a positive financial spin-offs for the club.

“The plans are very important for the long-term future of the football club,” he said. “It's very important that we maximise the potential of the land around Carrow Road.

“But we will obviously listen to any concerns.”

David Merrick, a director at property firm Savilles, said the development could prove a money-spinner for the club.

“There is a lot going on in Norwich, but this is an ever improving area,” he said. “The land value really relates to the amount of open market housing available.”

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