A government agency which aims to speed up stalling housing projects has explained why it has taken a major role in a scheme that will almost double the population of Attleborough.

Homes England, which dubs itself the government’s “housing accelerator”, is working to unlock development on the first phase of a 4,000-home expansion on the south-eastern side of Attleborough.

Jayshree Patel, head of planning and enabling at organisation, said: “Generally our mission is to intervene in the housing market to ensure homes are built in areas of greatest need and also to improve affordability, and then we generally act where the market is perhaps struggling to meet local need.”

The organisation provides funding to make sites more attractive for development.

“Quite often, sites like this tend to struggle with delivery, because they generally require infrastructure to be delivered right from the start, and that can be quite costly.”

In Attleborough, the organisation is using its expertise to design the two key road junctions, as well as a link road from Buckenham Road to London Road.

Eastern Daily Press: Attleborough, in Breckland, could soon find itself in the area chosen to become a low-tax investment zone.Attleborough, in Breckland, could soon find itself in the area chosen to become a low-tax investment zone. (Image: Copypright Mike Page, All Rights ReservedBefore any use is made of this picture, including dispaly, publication, broadcast,...)

The vision for the development includes a linear park, along with schools, shops and other community facilities.

Ms Patel said the site was a “brilliant location” with “good linkages to Norwich” and “an opportunity to deliver much-needed homes”.

Along with Thetford, Attleborough has been identified in Breckland’s local plan as one of the two most sustainable locations for growth in the district.

The agency also acts as a steward, monitoring the development and ensuring the homes are built by partner-housebuilders to an agreed standard.

“What we don’t do is hand the site over and then disappear. We’re there for the long game,” said Ms Patel.

Elsewhere in Norfolk, Homes England has sold a couple of acres of land in South Lynn, while in neighbouring Cambridgeshire, the agency is creating a completely new town, called Northstowe.

About 90 people spoke with Homes England representatives in a consultation event at the town’s market in September, at which a spokesperson said the response had been “overwhelmingly positive”.

Further information sessions are being held on Sunday November 28 from 1pm to 6pm at the Attleborough Christmas lights switch on, Monday November 29 from 7pm to 8:30pm on Zoom, and Tuesday November 30 from 2pm to 8pm at Attleborough Town Hall.

Further details can be found at: https://attleboroughsue.co.uk/