New homes bid for North Walsham’s Laundry Loke eyesore site

Wasteland on Laundry Loke, North Walsham.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Wasteland on Laundry Loke, North Walsham.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

One of the final eyesore sites in North Walsham may be developed with affordable homes.

Victory Housing Trust wants to build on just over a hectare of brownfield land off Laundry Loke.

The proposal could see between 34 and 43 bungalows, houses and flats built on the site which has been empty and overgrown for at least a decade, since the old laundry was demolished.

Faith Davies, representing Victory, outlined the trust's hopes for the site to North Walsham town councillors on Tuesday night.

But she warned that contamination was a major problem and it could cost a little over £500,000 to make the land safe.

Hazards included asbestos buried in different parts of the site, a ground water aquifer, and two wells which could each be up to 70m deep.

'We don't know if the contamination has reached the ground water yet,' she said.

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Victory hope to hold a public consultation on the scheme on October 28 at the trust's headquarters on Cromer Road, North Walsham.

The site is allocated under North Norfolk District Council's 2011 Local Development Framework for 10 homes and some commercial use but so far there have been no interested developers.

Town councillor Jon Witte said: 'You have got to be pragmatic about it. It's got to be developed. It can't sit there forever.' Councillor Brenda West added: 'It would be a waste of time to put industrial units along the front there. There's an industrial estate behind it with empty units. It's much better with housing.'

Councillors heard that Victory would consult with Norfolk County Council's highways department and the Environment Agency over traffic and contamination concerns.