Controversial plan for 350 new homes to go on show

Hopkins Homes' new builds on the Kingsfleet development in Thetford.

Hopkins Homes' new builds on the Kingsfleet development in Thetford. - Credit: Emily Thomson

People will be able to share their views on a controversial plan for 350 new homes in the south of North Walsham at an upcoming consultation. 

Hopkins Homes is organising the event for Tuesday, November 16 from 4pm to 8pm at the town's community centre in New Road. 

A spokesman for the Suffolk-based developer said they were "excited" by the plan, which earlier this year sparked a petition over concerns it would lead to the loss of woodland off Nursery Drive. 

Nursery Drive woods, which is currently earmarked for 350 new homes.

Nursery Drive woods, which is part of a site currently earmarked for 350 new homes. - Credit: Avril Smith

The Hopkins spokesman said: "We are excited to unveil the proposals for land south of Norwich Road, North Walsham, and to meet residents to understand their views.

"Comments will be taken on board wherever possible to help evolve the designs prior to submission.

"The development will deliver new homes to meet local need as well as the retention of employment to enable job creation for local residents and open green space."

A Google Maps image showing the location of the site in North Walsham's south where

A Google Maps image showing the location of the site in North Walsham's south where Hopkins Homes wants to build 350 new dwellings. - Credit: Hopkins Homes / Google

The site, which is to the east of the A149 and wraps around North Walsham Garden Centre, was earmarked for development in North Norfolk District Council's local plan in May 2019.

Hopkins' plans include green space and allotments, as well as elderly care accommodation. 

Avril Smith, who helped organise the petition which now has almost 700 signatures, told this newspaper she did not oppose development of nearby agricultural land, but said the wooded area next to the garden centre should be preserved, as it was used by wildlife including deer, owls and hares.

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She said: "It's not horticultural land because it has been unused for 40 years, it's become a wood, it's even got two oak trees, so it's not brownfield.

"They should be enhancing green areas. We're not saying we don't want them to build, we're just saying 'don't build on the wood'."

More details of the proposals can be found online at www.landsouthofnorwichroad-northwalsham.co.uk.

Hopkins said the development would include: "A mix of house types, sizes and tenures will be delivered to meet local need as well as the inclusion of affordable housing."

Covid restrictions including social distancing measures will be in place at the consultation.


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