What do you think? Town council backs plans for Pinebanks site in Thorpe St Andrew

Plans to build hundreds of new homes at the former Pinebanks site in Thorpe St Andrew have been backed by the town council.

Developer Ocubis wants to build up to 215 new homes at Pinebanks and a further 52, along with new sporting facilities and a �400,000 community building, at nearby Griffin Lane.

The plans were discussed at a meeting of Thorpe town council last night, which was attended by about 40 people, most of whom were opposed to the plans.

However, Thorpe councillors, who were consulted on the plans before Broadland council determines the application, voted in favour of the proposals.

Thorpe town councillor John Ward said: 'It's a well-developed scheme and I have never known any developer consult so widely. Yes, there is opposition, but there are others not here, who are in favour of the plans. They are concerned that if the plans do not go ahead, what will be put in their place.

'The scheme will provide much needed houses, open up ancient woodland for walks, and I cannot think of a better plan for these two sites.'

Councillor Susan Lawn added that the former Pinebanks site had become an 'absolute mess'.

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She said: 'I want my daughter, when she marries, to be able to stay and live in Thorpe. We owe it to the children who have grown up in this area to make sure that affordable homes are built.'

Earlier, a petition containing about 300 names in opposition to the plans was handed to the town council. People opposed to the plans raised concerns about increased traffic, the possible impact on sewage and asked how the community's schools and medical services could cope with the influx of extra residents.

Pinebanks closed down more than four and a half years ago and the plans include the demolition of the existing sports and leisure centre buildings. The proposals also include an �80,000 skate park at Dussindale Recreation Ground, and an agreement for the developer to contribute about �1.4m for education provision locally.

- Are you in favour of the plans or do you disagree with the town council? Leave a comment below and vote in our poll above.

- For more details about the planning applications, see the link at the top-right of this page.