The 3.96ha site lies in the south of the existing University of East Anglia (UEA) campus and west of Bluebell Road. Part of this site (reference R41) is identified in the adopted Norwich Site Allocations and Site-Specific Policies Local Plan as a strategic reserve to accommodate the anticipated future expansion of the University.
The policy seeks to enable expansion of the university, whilst conserving the landscape and architectural significance of the UEA and promoting public access to open spaces. Therefore it is essential that development of the site minimises impact on the river valley and enhances the setting of the listed buildings at the university. Consideration of the original Lasdun plan for a ‘Village on the hill’ will be important, as will design taking full account of other buildings of visual importance to the southern view of ‘The Prospect’, including the School of Music and Suffolk Walk. Intrusion into the valley should be limited to protect the valley’s appearance and use.
The sloping topography of the site presents an opportunity for the use of innovative, sustainable design to minimise the visual impact and maximise environmental performance, including linking the new development to the campus wide district heating network. Development should provide enhanced biodiversity links to the Broad and river.
Public access to the University Broad from Bluebell Road, including cycle routes, must be retained and enhanced. Since the proposal involves the loss of existing open space, any development must include the opening up of new areas for public access as compensation for this loss. Transport impacts assessment will be required and as well as a review of the campus travel plan.
The potential development area now identified, provides an opportunity to complete the southern part of the Campus. The emerging revised DFS considers that this development area has capacity to take a significant proportion of the demand for new university related floorspace and additional student accommodation over the plan period.