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


This 1.60ha site is located adjacent to the south east of the existing university campus, located immediately to the east of the University Broad, between the broad and Bluebell Road.  The site is currently occupied by the University Grounds Depot comprising a mixture of storage facilities and glasshouses. The emerging revised DFS has identified that this site may be needed to meet growth needs up to 2038 for student accommodation. The site is on the slopes of the Yare Valley which is identified as a key green infrastructure corridor, providing both public access to the river and countryside along the Yare Valley Walk and important wildlife habitats. Open space neighbouring the site is protected from development as part of the Yare Valley under existing policy DM6 and as open space under policy DM8.


Therefore it is essential that development is sensitively designed to minimise effects on important views to and within the Yare Valley. Consequently the type, scale, density and design of development will be designed to minimise impact on the landscape and preserve the character of the area.  The site will be developed mainly at low densities to ensure that impact on the landscape is minimised; 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. Intrusion into the valley should be limited to protect the valley’s appearance and use.


The site is allocated as strategic reserve land for long term development to ensure that other sites within the campus are developed first ahead of the release of this site. 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.


The site is likely to accommodate around 400 student bedrooms, equivalent to 160 homes.

Policy GNLP0133E

Land at the UEA Grounds Depot Site, Bluebell Road University of East Anglia – strategic reserve (approx. 1.60 ha) is allocated for student accommodation development which may include a small element of ancillary university related uses. The site is expected to accommodate in the region of 400 student bedrooms.

The development will achieve the following site-specific requirements:

  1. The land is identified as a strategic reserve for future development by UEA and should only be released subsequent to the completion of development of the Blackdale School site and Earlham Hall site and development of the Land between Suffolk Walk and Bluebell Road site.
  2. Achievement of a high quality, locally distinctive, energy efficient design whose form and massing takes account of and respects its location on the fringe of the campus and adjoining the University Broad, complements and integrates with existing and proposed campus development and protects and enhances the heritage significance and setting of the listed buildings within the campus.
  3. Ensures a high level of flood resilience and incorporates appropriate mitigation measures; including addressing identified risks from flooding from rivers.  Development must be sequentially located to flood zone 1 area of site.
  4. Generally low-rise development of 2 to 3 stories will be required in this location to minimise impact on adjoining residential properties and established open space.
  5. High quality landscaping, planting and biodiversity enhancements to reduce the impact of built development, providing for the retention and enhancement of existing landscape features and the creation of a substantial green edge to the University Broad;
  6. Include an enhanced pedestrian and cycling connection through the site from Bluebell Road to the Broad and linkages to and along the open river valley landscape to the south and east, linking to improved open space access at Bartram Mowers;
  7. Linking development to the university district heating network, where feasible and viable to do so or providing alternative on site facilities where these are considered to minimise impacts which might arise from connection to the national grid.
  8. Development shall be car free, with access only for service vehicles and pick-up / drop-off for students and on site car parking to be limited to disabled parking provision.  Access arrangements to the site to be informed by a transport assessment and updated travel plan including details of management of vehicle movements on arrival and departure days.
  9. Establishment and improvement of pedestrian and cycle routes across the site to connect with the existing cycle network and cycleway improvement at site frontage.
  10. Existing foul and surface water sewers on site to be considered as part of the site layout.

Policy Map

Policy Map for GNLP0133E