3,500 homes to be built in Old Catton and Sprowston – despite opposition

Sprowston residents against " Beyond Green " development proposals for agricultural land between Nor

Sprowston residents against " Beyond Green " development proposals for agricultural land between North Walsham Road and Wroxham Road meeting at and walking Church Lane to express their dissatisfaction with the proposals. Photo: Steve Adams

A new community complete with schools, shops and 3,520 homes will be built in Sprowston and Old Catton over the next two decades. Work could start on the development next spring after Broadland District Council planning committee approval.

The development, Beeston Park, includes housing, two primary schools, cafes, restaurants, pubs, a hotel, two community halls, a park, health centre and a library.

Developers Beyond Green say the site, between Wroxham Road and St Faiths Road, will bring much-needed jobs and housing to the district.

But concerns have been raised about the potential risk of flooding and the impact on the countryside.

The majority of the planning committee yesterday supported the proposal for a second time.

Plans were agreed in 2013 but members were forced to look at them again because of changes to local and national planning policy.

The first homes would be ready for people to move into in late summer or autumn 2016, with the project complete in 15-20 years.

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The development is part of Broadland's Growth Triangle, a wider vision across the area to build 7,000 houses by 2026, rising to 10,000 after that – meaning a population growth of 22,000.

Stephen Heard, 60, who lives in Salhouse, and is the chairman of Stop Norwich Urbanisation (Snub) was one of the public speakers at the meeting against the plans.

Addressing the council, he said: 'It is shocking that you will place the future of current residents behind the needs of those who have yet to move into the district.

'Do we really want Norfolk to become a powerhouse for development as has been suggested by some? With massive housing estates being bolted onto villages and market towns that really do now want them?'

But Beyond Green CEO Jonathan Smales said the approval was the final obstacle in getting the Beeston Park project started. 'We have been here before and this is a proposal for 3,520 real homes that people need, and a minimum of 1,000 jobs,' he added.

A proposal for 30 homes on Yarmouth Road in Blofield was also given approval at the committee meeting.

In Acle, a proposal for up to 30 homes and employment space on Reedham Road was deferred so that planning officers can look at the local plan for the area.