Timeline and information on the derelict piece of land next to the Kett’s cave park.
- Owned by Norwich City Council housing
- Derelict, boarded up site since 2006 in Norwich, NR3.
- Crome Ward.
1883 Site of Ketts Cave lime kiln
1889 Mousehold Estate: Morley Street, Harcourt Street, Balfour Street, Anchor Street, Infantry Street, Dragoon Street built
1971 (creation) 38, Morley Street, 40 Morley Street Date(s) 31 Aug 1971. Surrounding houses around the Kett’s cave park were rebuilt. Question why?
2006? Site seen as unsafe at 44-46 Morley St
31st July 2007 Planning portal- planning for 6 flats – View associated documents
Dec 2010 DCH10 – Contaminated Land Report
10th March 2012 Newspaper article about the site being an eyesore and squatters.
24th Dec 2012 Demolition of semi-detached houses approved – View associated documents
Feb/ early March 2021 A councillor posted on the internal council forum about what was happening with Morley St.
16th March 2021 Elizabeth Smith & Rob Bakewell met Emma Penfold on site and asked if we could have this plot as a community project.
March 2021 Emma Penfold posted our proposal on the same thread on the same internal council board.
31st March 2021 Emma Penfold reported back this project might go ahead!
“I’m really excited to say I think your Community Garden idea for the Morley Street site may have legs!
It turns out the site is very problematic, being unsuitable for building due to suspected chalk workings and unsuitable as either allotments or even landscape planting due to soil contamination, which is why it’s probably just sat there for so long.
So when I joined the conversation saying there’s interest from local residents who’d like to start a community garden on the site, and could install raised beds on a hard surface to resolve the soil contamination problem.”
June 2021 We finally gave in and became a constituted community group with a bank account on the promise of getting Morley St and working with Matt Davies from the Fringe Project. We had previously said no many times as I didn’t think we needed that for ‘just a litter picking’ group. The work involved for a resident group to do this is a lot, so not something you do lightly.
August 2021 Site meeting with NCC Estates Manager and councillors to discuss plans. At the end of the meeting, we were told this was the start of a very exciting 18-month journey.
Sep 2021 Informed by NCC that the land has soil contamination and now we can’t have the land as a garden. Results from 2010. This felt very odd as the soil results were in the public domain the whole time and they weren’t actually that bad. Feels like a massive you turn and has hit the morale of the group. We only created the website, got a bank account (which we will now have to do tax returns for), hosted a wider community day, posted leaflets through neighbouring doors, policies etc on the promise of Morley St garden and working with Matt Davies. Unfortunately, we aren’t even working with Matt now. NCC made us jump through a lot of hoops to get to this stage.
March 2022 We chatted with NCC again about why this project was rejected for a community garden. There seems to be a lot of secondhand information going around about the soil results. The rumours seem to be that the site has asbestos soil contamination, which isn’t true. I have chatted over the soil results with NCC and hopefully, they will consider the idea of soft landscaping the site in the near future. There are two chemicals from the lab results that are flagged. Benzo a pyrene and Lead. Benzo a pyrene is probably from family BBQ and its half-life in the soil means it won’t be a problem now. Lead is tricky but as suggested in the lab results we can brick weave over that area. It’s only a problem at the entrance of the plot, so an ideal area to brick weave anyway. We as a community group can apply for grants to fund this project.
Norwich City Council Planning Documents relating to Morley St plot.