Concerns raised over “poor” plans for former school site in Necton

Necton First School.

Necton First School. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant

Concerns have been raised over plans to build homes on the site of a former school in Necton, near Swaffham.

Councillors, residents and former pupils have been expressing their views.

Breckland councillor Nigel Wilkin told members of Necton Parish Council that he felt the design was 'poor' and said the layout of the development would make it an invitation for school time parking.

Vice chairman of Necton Parish Council Frank Woodward said it would also bring concerns over flood management as it sits immediately north of a ditch.

The former voluntary aided first school on School Road closed in 2007 and was merged with Necton VC Middle School to create Necton Church of England Primary School.

The Necton Church and School Estate Trust applied for planning permission to demolish the school buildings and replace them with 10 homes.

The charity had previously been granted permission to develop four homes on the site in March 2015.

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Tanya Pitt, a former student at the school, suggested that redeveloping the school to its former use would help tackle current school wait list problems.

She said: 'The school and the pre-school both have waiting lists to attend already. The school is not big enough for the capacity of children that wish to attend and the pre-school will need replacing within a couple of years, without the funding we need to make this possible the village will have no pre-school.

'I enquired about reusing part of the old building as our new pre-school instead of having to raise funds for a new replacement building but we were turned down and have since been told the building has stood empty for too long to now be reused.'

Andy Brown, who lives on School Road, said: 'Necton obviously doesn't need any more residential dwellings. The planning authorities have demonstrated this by allowing a residential property on the corner of North Pickenham Road and Hale Road to be turned into communal religious use. 'In addition to that, the old school site has recently been refused permission for eight dwellings – I really can't work out why they have now put in for 10.'

Mr Brown added that school parking is also a problem and an additional residential area on the road will make the problem worse.

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