December 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, March 20, 2014
A trio of homes schemes “vital” for the future of an historic Norfolk school are heading to planners.
Three plots of “spare” land at Gresham’s School in Holt are earmarked for more than 150 homes.
Their sale, with permission for housing, is key to unlocking a £10m vision to build a sixth form centre and revamp six boarding houses.
Acting head master Nigel Flower said: “This is crucial for the development of the school for the next 20 years, to drive us forward and thrive.”
The largest site, in a triangle of unused land between Cromer Road and the bypass, is earmarked for 126 homes. A piece of school field off Grove Lane is planned for 19 larger four-to-five bedroomed homes, and land behind the library, also with access off Grove Lane, is slated for eight detached homes.
The three separate plans have been lodged with North Norfolk District Council, having been amended following public consultation.
Tim Holmes, director of Endurance Estates Strategic Land which is Gresham’s development partner, said changes included adding “build outs” to stop rat-run problems in Grove Lane.
The sites were already attracting interest from builders, and their sale – if planning permission was granted – was crucial to generate the capital needed for improvements to a school which was not just an educational asset, but a major employer of more than 370 people, and would provide facilities which could also be hired out for conferences and summer schools, boosting the local economy.
Outline permission for the sixth form centre, on land north of the Auden Theatre, was granted last October, but Mr Flower said work could not start before any land sales.
He added: “The school is in an increasingly competitive market. We see the sixth form centre as a key part of future growth.
“Together with the planned improvements to existing boarding houses, it will help to attract pupils keen to enjoy a world-class boarding education and transition successfully from school to university.”
Outline proposals for a small supermarket on the Old School House site in Holt received little support from residents and were withdrawn.
Further information on the proposals is available at www.endurance-estates.co.uk under Land Promotion; Holt. Comments can be lodged at holt@endurance-estates.
What do you think about the proposals? Write to EDP Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE giving your name, address and contact number.