A disused site where the old Colman’s Mustard factory once stood is set to become a massive housing development.

Plans for the project have revealed that a total of 1,859 new properties will be built at the 30-acre Carrow Works site near County Hall, completely transforming the area on the edge of Norwich.

Full planning permission has been sought for the creation of 143 houses and 17,625 sq m of business space.

Meanwhile, although an initial plan has been submitted for the rest of the site to house 1,716 new homes and a further 9,005 sq m of commercial and community space, further details will be given in a separate application.

There are also plans to restore a Grade I listed 16th-century abbey on the site, known as Carrow Abbey, which will be converted into three homes.

The abbey stands on the site of a priory founded in 1146 and has been the home of many prominent Norwich families, including the Colman family, former owners of the mustard brand.

Much of the current area was developed by the family, who relocated to the site in 1854. 

Many of the buildings are linked to the manufacturing of Colman’s products, as well as those of Unilever, which took over the former company in 1995 and soft drinks maker Britvic. However, now the site is predominantly vacant.

Several structures are also listed, including the ruins of the priory, which is a ‘scheduled ancient monument’, and a series of ‘pet tombs’. 

Historic England raised concerns about early plans, particularly the impact on protected buildings, which has resulted in a reduction of the development surrounding them. 

People living in nearby Trowse have also raised concerns about plans to build new homes at the site, highlighting that it may increase traffic to the area.  

However, Fuel Properties, the firm behind the development, has said the proposed development will be a “low car scheme”, with one space per house and 0.2 spaces per apartment. Some 1,339 of the properties will be apartments. 

Three new bus stops have also been put forward, which are intended to ensure that people will live within 200m of one and a new footbridge, possibly joining Carrow Road, has been suggested. 

The developer initially lodged the plans in July 2022, but they have only been validated by council officers this month.  

At a meeting in March, Mike Burrell, planning policy team leader at Norwich City Council, said the delay was related to insufficient information, particularly on highways and housing. 

The former industrial site is a key part of the East Norwich Masterplan (ENM), which could ultimately see more than 3,000 homes and 4,000 jobs created in four areas.

The other sites are the Deal Ground and May Gurney site in Trowse and the utilities site between Thorpe Hamlet and Whitlingham. 

In July, Mike Stonard, leader of Norwich City Council, said the ENM was still on target and he hoped building work could begin in 2025. 

Plans for 670 homes on the May Gurney and Deal Ground site have already been lodged with Norwich City Council planning department. 

A planning statement submitted on behalf of Fuel Properties said the scheme has been designed to ensure that “high-density elements” of the scheme do not detract from the site’s “rich history and heritage”. 

They argue that any harm would be outweighed by the “significant public benefits” from the scheme, including new homes, jobs and bringing a largely vacant site back into use, while acting as a “catalyst” for the redevelopment of the rest of the East Norwich Masterplan. ​

© Eastern Echo (powered by ukpropertyforums.com).

Sign up to receive our weekly free journal, The Forum here.