October 21 2014 Latest news:
By Sabah Meddings
Thursday, July 24, 2014
A disused Aylsham care home site is to be given a new lease of life, with 22 new homes being built on the land.
The move brings the number of new homes in the pipeline for the town up to 641, with one development including a new £1.4m sports complex.
The 1960s Burgh Road care home closed in November 2012 after it was decided £2m of necessary modernisations would be too costly.
The 15 residents moved into accommodation elsewhere in the town and the Norse-owned home was put on the market. It remained empty until March this year, when property developers Morston Homes bought the land. They plan to start demolition work on the current building in the next few weeks.
James Bunn, director at Morston Homes, said outline planning permission had been approved and, if detailed permission was received, work could begin in January.
The development will include three, four and five-bedroom properties with seven smaller affordable homes with two and three bedrooms.
Broadland district councillor Ian Graham, who is responsible for housing and growth in the town, said the sale was good news. “I am all for new houses, we have too many young people not being able to afford homes.
“I will be asking them when they put in detailed applications if they can make small units, especially affordable homes.
“It is important to have one-bedroom dwellings for the young and elderly people to avoid the spare-room subsidy,” he said.
Aylsham has seen a burst of new homes in the past five years, with 250 to be built on land next to Woodgate farm and 300 on land north of Sir William’s Lane.
The Sir William’s Lane development includes a new £1.4m fitness centre and modernised swimming pool for Aylsham High School.
While the new homes will bring hundreds of new families to the town, increasing the footfall in the town centre, Mr Graham said Aylsham will not see any larger developments for the next 15 years.
“The council does a lot of work in deciding which places can support new homes, and because Aylsham already has a lot of infrastructure it can handle them,” he said.
“I took the view it was good to get it out of the way, while there is a lot of money around.
“While it sounds a lot, that is it for a few years.
“Everyone loves the little shops but you have to have people to fill them. We have had three shops open this year, partly because of the housing.”
Mr Graham said the Old Police House in Aylsham had also been sold but no outline planning permission had yet been approved.
And as of March this year, there were 40 homes left to be built out of a total of 200 at the St Michael’s Hospital site. This includes flat conversions, new homes and housing with care for older people.
Can Aylsham cope with all the new housing? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org