Search

New 665-home estate would ‘harm’ famous Norfolk castle Historic England warns

PUBLISHED: 17:45 29 July 2020

Caister Castle was built by Sir John Fastolf and later passed into the ownership of the Paston family.  Concerns have been raised that a new housing estate will erode its landscape setting Picture: Bill Smith

Caister Castle was built by Sir John Fastolf and later passed into the ownership of the Paston family. Concerns have been raised that a new housing estate will erode its landscape setting Picture: Bill Smith

Archant © 2010

Heritage body Historic England has raised concerns over a countryside development of 665 homes and the effect it would have on a landmark castle if approved.

The moated Caister Castle dates from the 15th century. Historic England is concerned a new housing estate could harm its setting Picture: Bill SmithThe moated Caister Castle dates from the 15th century. Historic England is concerned a new housing estate could harm its setting Picture: Bill Smith

It is worried about a “change in the setting” which would cause harm to the monument - reputedly the home of Shakespeare’s Falstaff and one of the finest examples of early brickwork in Britain.

The estate, called Magnolia Gardens, is being planned by Persimmon Homes on land west of Jack Chase Way in Caister, some 530m from the castle and its collection of vintage cars.

The bid has been trimmed from 725 to 665 homes and has been billed as a “natural extension” to the seaside village, one of the top-ten in demand for homes in the country according to Rightmove.

It includes provision for a new school, community centre, and health centre on the site which comprises two arable fields, part of Nova Scotia Farm, and sits opposite another Persimmon development Beauchamp Grange which is still being built.

Persimmon Homes is looking to build 665 homes in Caister close to where it is already building 190 at Beauchamp Grange. Historic England has raised concerns about the effect on heritage  Picture: Persimmon HomesPersimmon Homes is looking to build 665 homes in Caister close to where it is already building 190 at Beauchamp Grange. Historic England has raised concerns about the effect on heritage Picture: Persimmon Homes

However, in papers submitted alongside the outline planning application Historic England has raised concerns about the effect of the homes on the high-status residence, designed to be seen in, and command views across, the landscape.

MORE: ‘Please do not let this happen’ - Villagers plea over 665 homes bid

It says it also has concerns about the remains of a Second World War gun battery which are said to have “a low level of significance” but according to the public body are “incredibly rare.”

Graffiti by Canadian soldiers stationed there during the conflict in nearby barns adds to the context and makes them more valuable, the letter says.

It goes on: “The proposed development will result in an increase in the overall mass of built development at Caister on Sea to the east of the scheduled monument and Grade I listed castle.

Restoration work being carried out at Caister Castle in 1958 Picture: Archant archiveRestoration work being carried out at Caister Castle in 1958 Picture: Archant archive

You may also want to watch:

“This would result in a change to the setting of the castle through the removal of part of the castle’s open landscape context in that direction.

“This change would cause some harm to the designated heritage asset.”

MORE: ‘Probably one of the best places in the country to live’ - what you think about living in Caister

It also asked for views from the tower to be considered, not just those from ground level.

View of Caister Castle from the top of Caister Church (Holy Trinity)

Picture: James BassView of Caister Castle from the top of Caister Church (Holy Trinity) Picture: James Bass

Building a large residential development immediately in front of the gun houses was also an issue.

Caister Castle is one of the earliest brick residences to be built in Britain, dating from around 1432. Its first owner was Sir John Fastolf, reputedly the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Falstaff.

A 42-page built heritage statement submitted as part of the bid concluded the impact of the estate on the castle and nearby hall would be “towards the lower end of less than substantial harm” and outweighed the benefits.

Meanwhile Anglian Water says that while the sewerage system has capacity, the development “will lead to an unacceptable risk of flooding downstream”.

Caister Castle close to Caister, north of Great Yarmouth. The building is Grade I listed.  Historic England is concerned about a bid for a new housing estate and the effect it will have on is setting  Picture: James BassCaister Castle close to Caister, north of Great Yarmouth. The building is Grade I listed. Historic England is concerned about a bid for a new housing estate and the effect it will have on is setting Picture: James Bass

Highways has raised concerns, although does not object overall.

It has suggested a string of adjustments and notes the Norwich Road roundabout will be pushed close to 100pc capacity with queues likely under the present layout.

Numerous objections have been raised to the scheme, although some have written in support saying the new homes are crucial to the housing supply, helping local people to stay in their village and get on the property ladder.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Related articles



Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press