‘Disappointment’ after developers submit plan to build 300 houses on outskirts of Norwich

Thorpe Woods proposed housing area.

Thorpe Woods proposed housing area. - Credit: Mike Page

A nature group says it is 'very disappointed' over plans to build 300 homes in the heart of ancient woodland.

But the developers behind the scheme say the houses will 'beautifully' fit the location, at Racecourse Plantations in Thorpe Woods, and insist tree retention is 'absolutely key' to the proposal.

The plans, which were submitted to Broadland District Council this week, are for 300 homes – including affordable housing – and a new 150-acre community woodland park.

Developers Socially Conscious Capital also say they will improve local pedestrian and cycling links, and create an 'ecological

enhancement strategy' to support a new habitat in the planned woodland park.

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An exhibition of the plans was held locally in September and Andrew Simpson, of SCC, said the 'clear majority of people who attended supported the plans'.

But Jason Beckett, of Friends of Thorpe Woodlands, claimed the plans were opposed by thousands of local residents – pointing to 2014 when more than 2,000 letters of objections were received by the district council in response to similar plans proposed by SCC.

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He also said the site was not identified for housing development in the council's Local Plan, which sets

out where housing developments should be carried out in the next 10 years.

'We're disappointed because it goes against the views of local people and conservation groups.

'We expect the council to oppose it and reject it because it is contrary to their Local Plan.

'The area is an important wildlife site for people.

'The developers say they are providing more woodland but

they are talking about building

300 houses in an important environmental area of the wood.'

Norfolk Wildlife Trust has previously voiced concern about the loss of trees, as a result of the scheme.

But Ed Taylor, an architect who has worked on the plans, said: 'The houses would be built on a part of Racecourse Plantations which is of low ecological value and would be beautifully designed to fit the location.

'The exhibition enabled us to

reassure people that tree retention is absolutely key to the proposals, as people could see how the whole design is based around the homes looking out into the woodland.'

The plans will be decided by the district council, while local town and parish councils will also get the chance to give their views.

What do you think of the plans? Write, giving full details, to Letters, Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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