Site Specific Allocations

Adopted January 2011

LOW5 - Site of Normanshurst Fire Station, Normanston Drive, Lowestoft

Allocation: Housing

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Context
2.65 This site is located on Normanston Drive in north Lowestoft. It is currently occupied by the Fire Station and ancillary buildings, drill tower and large areas of car parking. The east and west boundaries of the site are screened by mature trees and the front of the site grassed with a wide belt of trees and shrubs. Housing surrounds the site and comprises of two storey dwellings to the east (High Beech), west (Normanhurst Close) and across the road to the south (Normanston Drive) and bungalows to the north (Greenacre Crescent). Vehicular access to the site is from Normanston Drive. An alternative single width vehicular access is available from Greenacre Crescent.

2.66 A replacement single bay fire station is currently being constructed on part of the site, outside the allocation boundary. The remainder of the site will become vacant as a new fire station is now operating in the south of the town.

Proposed Development
LOW5 Image 1.jpg2.67 The site is brownfield land within the physical limits of Lowestoft. It has good access to services and facilities, and is well connected to existing pedestrian, cycle and public transport routes. The accessibility of this site makes it a good location for housing development. The site could accommodate approximately 30 dwellings at a density of 30 per hectare, based on the surrounding density and site constraints. Provision of 35% affordable units will be expected on site. This percentage requirement was established through a site specific viability assessment [1] which took into account known abnormal costs and site specific requirements. The requirement for affordable housing will only be reduced in exceptional circumstances where it can be demonstrated that a lower percentage of affordable housing is needed to ensure the site remains financially viable when taking into account unforeseen development costs.

2.68 There are a number of mature trees on the site, many of which are covered by a Tree Preservation Order. The trees provide good screening for properties to the east and west of the site and are important for the character of the area. These should be retained. The area of grass to the front of the fire station contains mature trees and shrubs and is visually important for the street scene. Where possible the layout of any future housing development should incorporate and enhance these as part of the development.

2.69 The County Archaeologist has confirmed that this site lies in an area of high archaeological potential. However, the area has not been the subject of systematic archaeological investigation. An archaeological condition should therefore be attached to any planning permission.

2.70 Given the size of the site, the Environment Agency have advised that a Flood Risk Assessment will be required.

2.71 A new vehicular access will be constructed to serve the development and this should be designed to the Highway Authority's standards.

2.72 The development of this site for housing provides the opportunity to improve access for cyclists and pedestrians between Normanston Drive, Greenacre Crescent and residential areas beyond. It is proposed that cycle and pedestrian access through the site is provided via the single width existing alternative access to the north. Consultation has highlighted concerns about the potential impact of opening up this access in terms of inappropriate use and disturbance to neighbours. Any future access should therefore be carefully designed to minimise any potential impact.

2.73 The consultation also highlighted the lack of a community space in the local area where young people, local groups and the community can engage with each other. This need could potentially be addressed through the provision of a space equivalent to the ground floors of two residential units. A location on the Normanston Drive site frontage would minimise impact on adjacent residents. Any future developer should explore with the community the need and opportunity for delivering a community space.

Policy LOW5

The site of the Normanshurst Fire Station, Normanston Drive, Lowestoft, (1.0ha), is allocated for 30 dwellings. The site will be developed in accordance with the following site specific criteria:

A mix of different sizes and tenures of housing should be provided on the site. This should include at least 35% affordable housing with the mix to be based on the findings of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment and agreed with the District Council Housing Officer. The affordable housing requirement will only be reduced in exceptional circumstances to ensure the site remains financially viable when taking into account unforeseen development costs.
The site should be developed at a density of approximately 30 dwellings per hectare.
A condition relating to archaeological investigation should be attached to any planning permission.
A flood risk assessment should be prepared as part of the application process to assess and mitigate the risk of flooding from surface water drainage.
Shared pedestrian/cycle access should be provided through the site from Greenacre Crescent. This should be carefully designed to prevent inappropriate use and to minimise disturbance to neighbours.
The existing trees and planting around the boundary of the site including those fronting Normanston Drive should be retained and enhanced to provide screening to adjoining gardens and to protect the character of the locality. A tree survey should be submitted as part of any planning application.
New screen planting and fencing should be provided along the northern boundary of the site to protect the amenity of neighbours.
New dwellings along the northern boundary of the site should be single storey only.
• The need and opportunity to provide a community space within the development should be explored with the community, to be positioned on the Normanston Drive site frontage.

Implementation
2.74 Delivery will be through the landowner and developer, in conjunction with the community during the early part of the plan period.