Beeston Regis affordable housing plan buried given historic neighbour

An artist's impression of Hastoe's vision for nine new affordable homes in Beeston Regis. Picture: N

An artist's impression of Hastoe's vision for nine new affordable homes in Beeston Regis. Picture: NNDC/Hastoe - Credit: NNDC/Hastoe

Plans to bring more affordable housing to north Norfolk have been consigned to history, given the site's ancient neighbour.

An artist's impression of Hastoe's vision for nine new affordable homes in Beeston Regis. Picture: N

An artist's impression of Hastoe's vision for nine new affordable homes in Beeston Regis. Picture: NNDC/Hastoe - Credit: NNDC/Hastoe

The proposition from Hastoe Housing Association to build nine affordable homes in Cromer Road, Beeston Regis, were quashed as the boundaries of the St Mary's priory, opposite the site, were redesignated to include the proposed building site.

Mike Knowles, leader of Beeston Regis Parish Council and district councillor for the area, said: 'It is indeed unfortunate how this has turned out.

'It would seem that there has never actually been any archaeological find on the piece of land we were considering, and there is probably no likelihood of it.'

The redesignation of the land was carried out by a listings team from Historic England, who state that the proposed site is 'likely to have a high archeological potential.'

Mike Knowles

Mike Knowles


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A spokesperson for the organisation said: 'This project was part of a wider initiative by Historic England to go back over all of our records and update them.

'Our listings team went to the priory and discovered new earthworks which could have provided a boundary to the priory when it was built back in the 13th century, and we redesignated the boundary in light of this.'

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The medieval priory near Sheringham was dedicated to St Mary, and was an independent priory where the canons followed a lesser known Augustinian doctrine called the Peterstone Order - one of only two in the country to do so.

There have already been a number of building developments close to the priory boundary, namely the construction of the original and present Cromer Road.

Mr Knowles said: 'The really unfortunate part is that someone is able to draw an arbitrary line on a modern map and determine that this is where the priory precinct ended, then add that the road, when first constructed, followed the priory boundary so that must prove it to be correct!'

He added: 'Given that so much of what is now designated has already been developed, some of which does contain actual archaeological items, most people, I would suggest, would see no reason to block development on this particular tiny parcel, but they have the power to do so, and we have to accept that.'

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