Transformation plan for redundant industrial estate

A redundant and 'overgrown' industrial estate which has suffered vandalism could be transformed to boost a rural economy.

The plan to redevelop the former Quantrills Industrial Estate off Church Road, Griston, near Watton, includes 40 homes, a new village green, a light industrial unit and office space.

It has been submitted to Breckland Council by Andrew Scales, owner of the Dereham-based company SCWS, and a decision on outline planning permission is due by January 4. A neighbour consultation is due to finish on November 5.

The former industrial estate was occupied over five years ago but the buildings and equipment would need 'significant investment' and have become derelict, according the design and access statement.

It added: 'The poor quality of the buildings characterises the centre of the village...The site itself is made up of very large industrial buildings and some redundant offices. The site is overgrown and has been the subject of gypsy occupation and vandalism.'

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The site was formerly part of the USAAF 3rd strategic air depot associated with RAF Watton during the second world war.

It is surrounded by a bungalows, fields, an existing industrial site, Griston Engineering, Griston Farm Shop and motor racing business Super Nova Racing.

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If approved, the office behind Griston Engineering would be retained and converted into a small office, and two new light industrial buildings would be built behind Super Nova Racing to act as a buffer to the proposed homes.

An open space at the front of the site would be turned into a green area, in order for the development to integrate with village life.

The design and access statement added the proposals would offer a 'sustainable solution' to the derelict land, regenerate the brownfield site and improve the character and appearance of the area.

It added: 'The employment use proposed is an important enhancement to the existing economy of the village...It is considered that the proposed employment/residential use is a good balance and achieves the right masterplan for the future of the development of this site.'

Footpaths will link the development to the village and the new homes will be suitable for couples, families and older people.

The design and access statement said: 'Griston plays an important role in the support of the local employment base and economy of other villages and indeed Watton itself and its importance as a centre for new homes and employment should not be overlooked.'

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