Redevelopment of one of North Walsham’s worst eyesore sites could begin next year after a bid for a £2.3m loan cleared a major hurdle this week.

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The development, which has been welcomed, could see a first planning application submitted for the former HL Foods site within months, with work beginning in 2013.

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) announced on Tuesday that North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) and Hopkins Homes’ joint application to the Growing Places Fund for the pump-priming loan had been successful and the full amount would be lent – once a set of conditions had been met.

The conditions include finalising repayment agreements and securing planning consent for the site which has been derelict for a decade since the former Norwich Road canning factory closed.

Loan cash would finance key infrastructure such as the main estate road and utility services for a scheme of mixed residential and commercial development, with large areas of public open space, representing a first phase of work on a larger, 24.5-hectare project.

Hopkins Homes, through their consultants Bidwells, aim to submit an initial planning application in the autumn, expected to be for about 140 homes. NNDC will press for at least 45pc of them to be affordable, subject to viability.

Hopkins Homes director Martin Bailey said: “We welcome this announcement and now look forward to continuing to work closely with North Norfolk District Council to finalise our planning application and to see commencement of this redevelopment next year.”

Tom FitzPatrick, NNDC deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development, said he was delighted with the loan announcement.

“The development would provide a much more attractive entrance to the town for those coming from the railway station and shows faith in the future prosperity of North Walsham,” he added.

Talks are on-going with surrounding landowners in a bid to realise NNDC’s vision of redeveloping a larger site to include 400-450 homes, a railway station car park, employment uses which could feature a pub, offices, small retail facilities and other commercial premises, and four hectares of public open space.

4 comments

  • more homes are very well but what about inferstucture. schools, dentists and doctors among others. or are they going to be more retirement homes but then the same questions need to be asked. maybe nndc should put more effort into bringing more industry to north walsham.

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    swifty

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • More (hopefully) good news for N Walsham. Whilst there are concerns the development of this eyesore can only be good for the town. Things are certainly looking better at present, Waitrose coming, probably another supermarket, the Bittern Line should get better, no wind turbine etc etc. Crane Freuhalf site next I hope.

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    Windless

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • more homes are very well but what about inferstucture. schools, dentists and doctors among others. or are they going to be more retirement homes but then the same questions need to be asked. maybe nndc should put more effort into bringing more industry to north walsham.

    Report this comment

    swifty

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • Where are the jobs for all these new people or are the roads leaving North Walsham going to be improved so that they can get to whever they work. Take a site that, at its height employed a 1000 people in full time jobs and shove housing on it. Brilliant!

    Report this comment

    Born61

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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