Royal Norwich to be sold for housing?
23rd August 2008
There has been a mixed reaction to plans to replace an historic Norwich golf course with houses from people living in the area.
The Evening News revealed last week that members at the 115-year-old Royal Norwich Golf Club are being asked to vote on whether to sell up to a property developer.
If given the go-ahead, Norfolk-based Goymor Properties Ltd would then seek permission to build what could be a major housing development on the site.
The 450-plus members of the club, which is based on Drayton High Road, would be transferred to the nearby Weston Park Golf Club, owned by Goymor, which would receive a £7m upgrade aimed at creating a championship-standard facility.
The majority of people spoken to by the Evening News welcomed the proposals. However, concerns have been expressed about potential traffic issues.
Shayne Watcham, 49, a kitchen assistant, who lives on the Drayton High Road, said: "I think it's needed. I'd rather it was affordable housing for youngsters who need it.
"My son and daughter live at home but if there was somewhere they could afford they wouldn't be living here.
"It's very expensive in Hellesdon. I'm not really bothered about the traffic because it seems a bit of a waste of land at the moment."
The proposal, which will not affect the dinosaur park adjacent to Weston Park Golf Club, has to be passed by a majority vote at the Royal Norwich Golf Club on September 9.
If given the go-ahead, the Banham-based property developer hopes the plans would see favour with council bosses who have been tasked with bringing thousands of homes to the area as part of the Greater Norwich Development Partnership.
One man who lives on Drayton High Road, who did not want to be named, said: "I don't think it would cause that much of a problem. It depends on the plans but people have got to live somewhere.
"If they were going to build flats then it would be a problem but if they're going to be tasteful then I can't see there will be a problem.
"You have to build houses somewhere and there's always going to be someone who doesn't like it."
Simon Lee, operations director of Goymour Properties, has said it has not been decided how many houses would be built, but if the go-ahead was given, work could begin within the next two to five years.
Scott Bacon, 18, also from Drayton High Road, who has severe misgivings about the proposal, said: "I'm pretty angry about it. When we moved here six years ago it was a very nice area, with green spaces to look at across the street.
"I don't really want to look at housing. If it was expensive housing it would be better because there would be less of them but if it was cheaper they would be packed in."
Councillors in the area also had concerns about the scheme.
Broadland ward councillor for Hellesdon North East, Tom Gasson, said: "I think there are enough problems on the Drayton High Road without this. It is a very busy road and if they had housing it would just add to the problems."
By: Rebecca Gough - Norwich Evening News