New homes in Norfolk village will be for locals

Work under way on a new housing development in Norfolk

Inspectors are to hold hearings to help determine if a blueprint which details where nearly 50,000 homes could be built in Norwich, South Norfolk and Broadland is sound. - Credit: Chris Bishop

Forty new homes could be built on the edge of a west Norfolk village - with most available for rent or shared ownership.

Freebridge Community Housing has applied to build on land off Thieves Bridge Road, to the south of Watlington.

The King's Lynn-based social landlord said in a planing statement: "The proposed scheme will help to address the need for affordable housing that exists both locally and within the borough more widely.

"The intention is for priority to be given to those households with a local connection to Watlington and the surrounding villages."

The statement says 19 people on the borough council's housing register have expressed a preference to live in Watlington, while 20 have listed surrounding villages including Runcton Holme, St Germans and Magdalen.

Some 37 of the 40 properties would be affordable, with homes comprising a mix of rented and shared ownership.

The scheme consists for six two-bedroom bungalows, 16 two-bed houses, 16 three-bed houses and two four-bed houses.

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Freebridge says designs have been inspired by existing properties around the village.

It adds: "The new dwellings will be constructed with a fabric first approach and therefore will include high levels of insulation together with thermally efficient windows and doors utilising modern methods of construction."

Houses will be equipped with air source heat pumps and solar panels.

Areas of land around the homes will be planted to encourage wildlife.

"The open space will include an area of amenity grass suitable as a play space," the statement adds."The surrounding margin will be meadow planted to attract wildlife and increase biodiversity. A small community orchard is also proposed within this space."

An ecological assessment says at least seven species of bats are believed to be active around the site and hedgerows offer breeding sites for common garden birds. 

The planning statement concludes: "The proposed development would provide the clear benefit of creating new affordable housing within Watlington, available for local people.

"Some 92.5pc of the new homes will be affordable, including both rented and shared ownership tenures."

A decision is expected from West Norfolk council in the spring.