Housing scheme at North Walsham cuts number of homes and adds potential for jobs

07:30 11 June 2015

A major housing scheme on the outskirts of North Walsham has cut down the number of homes - and added in the prospect of jobs.

Developer Persimmon has gone back to the drawing board with plans for 10 acres of farmland at the southern end of Norwich Road.

After withdrawing earlier plans for 138 homes after concerns, they are now earmarking the land for 99 homes and two acres of employment land.

And this is week it was revealed that uses for the commercial plot could include:

■offices

■storage and distribution

■a care home

■pub or restaurant

■or small scale retail

The land is part of a larger 60-acre area on the garden centre side of the road where there have been attempts to do a coordinated multi-use scheme.

But so far only the Hopkins housing and employment scheme being built near the station, and Persimmon are progressing.

Town councillors were this week briefed on the updated Persimmon plans at a planning meeting.

Company land director Martin Davidson said the revised plans came after the previous scheme did not find favour with North Norfolk District Council which was keen to see employment land too.

The housing element was detailed with a mix of two to four-bedroomed homes, including bungalows, 20pc of them affordable.

After consulting highways officials, a right-turn lane into the estate had been dropped for a normal junction - which would also serve to slow traffic heading into town.

As well as the main estate road - which provides a possible link into the nursery land beyond - there are two smaller access roads into groups of homes directly off the Norwich Road.

There would also be a 5m tree and hedge belt on the southern boundary which adjoins open countryside.

No firm plans had yet been drawn up for the commercial acre, but the suggested possible uses would be marketed said agent Jon Jennings from Strutt and Parker. General industrial use was being avoided because the site was shared with housing.

Town councillor Annie Abbs raised concerns about the estate roads being too narrow to cope with parked cars and emergency vehicles - but was assured they met standards.

Brenda West and Tony Thirtle asked about pedestrian road crossings for families taking their children to Millfield school which has a walk to school policy.

Mr Davidson said councillors’ views would be taken back for consideration.

After the meeting he added that it was hoped to submit firm plans by the end of the month - and start work in a year’s time.

The previous plans allowed for contributions of £486,000 towards schools and £8,000 for the library - but these figures will be reduced because of the smaller number of homes involved.

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