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New homes stop play as park relocated for two social houses

PUBLISHED: 17:53 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:53 14 June 2019

The playground set to be turned into two new homes, at the back of number 77, St Peter's Road PICTURE: Archant

The playground set to be turned into two new homes, at the back of number 77, St Peter's Road PICTURE: Archant

Archant

Plans to build two homes on the site of a Fakenham playground have been approved, despite objections.

The playground set to be turned into two new homes, at the back of number 77, St Peter's Road PICTURE: ArchantThe playground set to be turned into two new homes, at the back of number 77, St Peter's Road PICTURE: Archant

The estate on St Peters Road is owned by Victory Housing Trust.

North Norfolk District Council granted planning permission for the homes earlier this month.

Victory will be able to build the homes on the condition a new playground is built on the estate.

The decision was called in to the council's planning committee by former councillors Annie Claussen-Reynolds and Roy Reynolds, after objections by Fakenham Town Council. Mrs Claussen-Reynolds said "We think children's welfare is paramount and children should be allowed to be children.

The playground set to be turned into two new homes, at the back of number 77, St Peter's Road PICTURE: ArchantThe playground set to be turned into two new homes, at the back of number 77, St Peter's Road PICTURE: Archant

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"Having said that, we recognise the need for affordable homes, but we felt this was possibly the wrong place and should have been subject to more consultation. There's been children's play area there since the development was built."

Current councillor for the area, Chris Cushing, said "I roughly agree with the objections of my predecessors. The whole committee wanted a new, up-to-date playground, and the housing company will come up with a proposal for that soon. We need to address the need for social housing, but balance that with children's need to exercise".

Nearby residents had mixed views on the development. Some were concerned the park was being under-used, while others pointed out equipment had been disappearing for some time.

Victory Housing Trust is a subsidiary of Flagship Homes. Managing Director of Flagship, Tony Tann, said "We decided to use this site following a survey with all residents of the estate, finding play areas were under-used because the equipment was considered limited, outdated and in need of improvement.

"Along with the new homes, we want to create a new play area in the centre of the estate, which may involve further consultation with the residents. We will work with the council on the location and type of equipment, but in the meantime, there is a second play area on the estate."

One nearby resident, who did not wish to be named, said "There used to be climbing frames too, and children would come from a few roads over to go the park. They have so many houses, why do they have to take the children's play area?"

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