Norwich’s status as an employment centre, university city and even a commuter destination means its housing stock is under pressure, but the city council is already acting upon plans to create thousands of new homes to meet demand.
The county town of Norfolk is one of the most populous areas in the whole of East Anglia, its urban area home to more than 213,000 people in the last census. Current plans involve the creation of 33,000 new homes between 2008 and 2026 in the Norwich area, with another 4,000 in neighbouring areas, to cope with expected requirements.
North, east and west of Norwich, the city is expanding and some of its surrounding villages are also growing and becoming more urban. The dilemma facing planners is to meet the need for new homes but try to maintain the quality of life that attracts people to the area in the first place.
Like elsewhere, brownfield sites are a major focus of redevelopment, bringing unused or abandoned former industrial land back to life, though inevitably borders will expand too. Villages such as Costessey, Cringleford and Wymondham are growing, not just with new homes but with schools and other amenities that the new population can enjoy.
With a student population of around 15,000, Norwich’s two universities, the University of East Anglia and Norwich University of the Arts, provide a large rental market, much of it from overseas. This is certain to attract the attention of buy-to-let property investors looking for a reliable source of income.
With a journey time of two hours by rail and an annual season ticket of £7,740, Norwich might seem an unlikely commuter option for City workers. However, prices in and around Norwich allow Londoners to find a bigger and cheaper home in East Anglia, and benefit from the more family-friendly lifestyle that the region offers.
“Norwich continues to be a draw for families in search of attractive period property close to good schools and the city centre,” says Natalie Howlett Clarke, senior negotiator for Savills in Norwich.
Norwich has an enviable array of shops, one of the UK’s largest outdoor markets and a wealth of cultural amenities close at hand, from the natural beauty of the Norfolk Broads and North Norfolk Coast to an array of museums, galleries and performing arts venues. There’s a high standard of education in the city, too, in both the state and independent sectors.
New homes for sale in Norwich and the surrounding area:
In the suburb of Lakenham is a development from Hopkins Homes, Grace Park, where the currently available three- and four-bedroom homes start from £304,995, close to a number of amenities and schools and within 20 minutes’ walk of the city centre. A marketing suite is open to house-hunters Thursday to Monday, 10.00am to 5.00pm.
Kier Living is offering a wide selection of property sizes and layouts at St Walstans, taking shape on the edge of Costessey, the growing village just to the west of Norwich. The ‘Victoria’ is a three-storey, four-/five-bedroom home with one en suite bedroom and two family bathrooms, on the market from £329,950.
At Kier’s Round House Park in Cringleford, the five-bedroom ‘Victoria’ townhouse is currently priced from £398,995, providing a generously proportioned home in a village setting on the south-west outskirts of the city.
David Wilson Homes is offering village life in Horsford, just five miles north of Norwich, with three show homes to show the variety of properties on offer at Butterfly Mill. This semi-rural collection starts at £207,995, with a range of purchase assistance schemes available, including Help to Buy.
Avant Homes is bringing a collection of two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom homes to Hethersett at Heathfields. The current range of the largest homes starts at £443,995, with an impressive specification and Avant’s Express Move initiative available to help buyers of certain plots.
At The Drive in Wymondham, Newbury Homes is building a boutique development of seven six-/seven-bedroom homes and a three-bedroom chalet, with prices from £375,000. On plots of around one-third of an acre, the spacious properties have been designed to make the most of natural light and countryside views.
Late in 2015, Orbit Homse unveiled its plans for St Anne’s Quarter, a £70m mixed-use scheme, a riverfront scheme for the city that could deliver 437 homes for private sale, Shared Ownership, and private and affordable rent. Completion of the first homes is expected in summer 2017.
At the beginning of February, permission was finally granted for plans to add another 650 new homes to the village of Cringleford, following a rejection some 18 month previously.