Fast-track plan for new homes

Plans to build more than 150 homes on part of an old RAF station are being fast-tracked to try and avoid an expensive public inquiry.

Plans to build more than 150 homes on part of an old RAF station are being fast-tracked to try and avoid an expensive public inquiry.

The proposals for the old RAF station in Norwich Road, Watton, come with the promise of £337,000 for better leisure services in the community.

Breckland Council will discuss the plans as an urgent item today in an attempt to avoid contesting an appeal against its refusal of previous plans for the site at a public inquiry on April 24.

Suffolk-based Bennett plc's new plans are for 154 homes, including 46 affordable properties, with a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses, flats and bungalows.

The impending public inquiry relates to Bennett's earlier plans to build 147 properties on the site that were turned down.

Bennett's contribution of £337,000 would pay for 4.6 hectares of recreation land elsewhere in the town and fund new outdoor sports and children's play areas.

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Watton Town Council has welcomed the contribution towards much-needed leisure facilities and Breckland planner Nick Moys said it will compensate for the loss of the site to housing. Breckland councillors are recommended to defer a decision and authorise the development services manager to award outline permission as soon as Breckland receives a satisfactory transport assessment and legal agreements are drawn up.

Outside the town, other land relating to RAF Watton has also been approved for housing, with 572 homes to be built on the former technical site.