Developer says work on 5,000 home Thetford development could start in 2017

Thetford housing plan. Photo: Supplied

Thetford housing plan. Photo: Supplied - Credit: Supplied

Work on the first phase of a 5,000 home housing development in Thetford could begin by next summer, according to the scheme's developers.

The Crown Estate has final planning consent to build 5,000 homes, 48 acres of employment land, three schools and associated infrastructure improvements on a site to the north of the town.

Will van Cutsem, director of developers Pigeon, told Thetford Business Forum yesterday that development could start next year.

He said: 'Assuming we can get a house builder on board, and we have been through reserved matters, we'd be doing well if we had a shovel in the ground by late summer next year.'

Pigeon said last year that it hoped to get development started by autumn of this year.

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In December, The Crown Estate announced it had agreed a £150m Section 106 agreement with Breckland Council in order to provide new local infrastructure and community facilities.

And Mr van Cutsem admitted that the first phase of the development - one of five - would be 'one of the most difficult' due to up front infrastructure costs.

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But he said Pigeon would not shirk on quality in terms of housing.

'We would want to set a benchmark for a development of this kind and create something we can all be proud of.

'That is something which is informing our negotiations with house builders,' he said.

The whole development, known as KingsFleet, will take anything from 15 to 20 years to complete, according to Mr van Cutsem.

Affordable housing levels - initially set at 15% for the initial phases and 10% thereafter - will also be assessed on an ongoing basis.

He said up to 50% of the development area will be dedicated to green space.

There will also be funding for Thetford Academy to help it cope with Thetford's expansion.

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