For over 10 years, an inter-disciplinary team of Town, Heritage, Environmental, Landscape and Master Planners have been working with Norwich Airport to develop a Masterplan which can define development of the Airport for the next 30-years.
Developed in parallel to promotion of the airport within the Greater Norwich Local Plan, the masterplan is required in response to continued growth in passenger levels. set to continue growing and a need for increased capacity for the East of England. It is also a key element in support of the airport’s future diversification - including the offshore oil, gas and renewables industries in the North Sea - and in support of its role within the wider region and nation’s transport infrastructure.
The team worked throughout 2019 and 2020 to build endorsement from Norwich City and Broadland District Councils respectively for the Masterplan, via a comprehensive engagement programme with businesses, political leaders, users/operators and the public.
In tandem with the masterplan work and this long-term strategic approach, we have also been guiding the revision of a number of existing permissions across the airport footprint. In 2016, we delivered a high-powered engine testing facility and in November 2019, we secured permission for the enhancement of East Anglian Air Ambulance’s existing facilities within the airport periphery, which became operational, 24/7 in September 2021.
In August 2021, we submitted a significantly revised application for Imperial Park, located on the north side of the Airport. With direct access from the newly constructed A1270 Broadland Northway, this 37ha brownfield site principally comprises an old runway and taxiway and hardstanding. As part of the wider diversification ambitions, the new application now seeks permission for a 120,000sqm (GEA) of 50/50 aviation and non-aviation floorspace - an increase of c.25,000sqm from the previous consent, which reflects the changes in market we are seeing while also presenting a scheme which works well within the Government’s brownfield first ambitions.
- 36.79ha brownfield site
- High powered engine testing facility
- Up to 1,527 net additional FTE jobs
- 120,000sqm (GEA) of 50/50 aviation and non-aviation floorspace including -
- Offshore helicopter transport operations
- Corporate and general aviation
- Flight school activities
- Modern new facility for East Anglian Air Ambulance
- Centre of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) excellence
Engagement for this scheme and the wider masterplan faced all the same challenges as other schemes, during the pandemic, switching to broad online modes and targeted virtual workshops and meetings. A comprehensive project website, plus local advertising also sought to reach local residents. Extensive engagement with statutory bodies and occupiers has been particularly necessary in the developing the transport infrastructure proposition, including an Airport Surface Access Strategy and a wider public consultation on the approach to reducing the number of single vehicular trips to the Airport (including to Imperial Park).
High quality employment (both aviation and non-aviation) are key selling points for the proposals, specifically the fact that these more diverse spaces will enable a broader range of business occupier and offer a significant boost to the job opportunities for the Greater Norwich region, with the planning application anticipating that the scheme will generate between 1,334 and 1,527 net additional FTE jobs.
Going forwards, we are looking forward to representing Norwich Airport at the Examination in Public for the Greater Norwich Local Plan, in late 2021.