Plans to build 180 homes in a Norfolk town have been criticised for being too ambitious by a government inspector.

Around 18.7 acres - roughly 13 football pitches - of Loddon, a town 12 miles south of Norwich, could be developed under proposals submitted to South Norfolk Council.

But a government inspector argued they were too ambitious at a hearing to analyse the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP).

The GNLP is a blueprint for where 50,000 homes could be built across Norwich and its outskirts between now and 2038, with the Loddon scheme comprising 171 homes and a further nine self-build plots, on land east of Beccles Road.

Ian Douglas, speaking on behalf of the developer Hopkins Homes, said the plans were currently going through a consultation process and no planning committee date has been set by the council.

Thomas Hatfield, the government planning inspector, questioned if the company could deliver the scheme in the time frame they had established with aims to be selling homes by 2023/24.

Samantha Jones, speaking on behalf of GNLP, argued the plans were realistic but Mr Hatfield was not convinced.

He said: “That would imply you would have completions close to April 1, 2023, obviously the application is not determined yet we’ve heard it’s likely to be a few months away.

“There’s then conditions to discharge, construction to be under way.”

Mr Douglas accepted there was always risk in the planning process but said Hopkins Homes was “well set up” and able to deliver a significant number of houses every year.

Mr Hatfield added: “I appreciate it is not an exact science but equally the forecasts have to be realistic and based on reasonable assumptions.

“It certainly looks ambitious. It looks to be incredibly ambitious, to be honest.

"A more realistic assumption might be to move that first year of delivery back a year for a more realistic projection."

Mr Douglas said the partnership would go away and look at the plans with a written response.

Earlier this week the GNLP hearings heard concerns about the number of homes planned for Anglian Square, with Heritage England arguing that 1,000 home was unsupported by evidence.