Experts called in to help at problem North Walsham planning site
Moves to build homes, improve railway parking and provide job opportunities at a deadlocked north Norfolk site took a step forward this week after councillors voted to call in specialist help, at no charge.
Members of North Norfolk District Council's cabinet, meeting this morning agreed to work closely with Atlas - the Advisory Team for Large Applications - in a bid to end stagnation at the former HL Foods canning factory and surrounding areas of land along Norwich Road, in North Walsham.
Development plans ground to a halt in 2008 after Hopkins Homes, who bought the HL Foods site, had a housing scheme dismissed at appeal over concerns that it would lead to the loss of employment land.
Planning blueprints have earmarked a 24.5 hectare site, including the now-razed factory, for a mix of 400 homes, industry, station parking and open space.
The area is among a number of eyesore sites at gateways to the town which have caused local concern.
A first workshop involving Atlas is due to be held on Wednesday to discuss a way forward for the complex parcels of land, which are spread across seven different ownerships.
Councillor Keith Johnson told cabinet colleagues that the site was one of the most important in the district.
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'We really have one chance to get this site right and we must grab this opportunity,' he said.
North Walsham member Virginia Gay said she hoped the co-operation would result in a better welcome to the town and at the railway station, and that careful attention would be paid to landscaping.
Atlas is a division of the Home and Communities Agency which promotes land regeneration and affordable housing.