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Former soldier uses army skills to map out growth of Costessey housing estate

11:55 20 February 2013

Dan Rider, site manager at the Queen

Dan Rider, site manager at the Queen's Hills Primary School, with his map of Queen's Hills estate at Costessey, which he has made to help the emergency services. Picture: Denise Bradley


The development of a Costessey housing estate has been charted in a new map by a former soldier who was sparked into action after his neighbour waited 45 minutes for an ambulance.

Dan Rider used his cartography skills, picked up while serving in the Army in the Middle East, to map the Queen’s Hills estate four years ago.

He has now updated the map and the latest version shows how the estate has grown.

It pinpoints the location of the long-awaited community centre, which should open in October, new play areas and sites where homes are set to be built.

Mr Rider, 33, said: “I had to search planning applications to see how the estate is developing.

“The major differences are the simple things like the locations of dog bins and play parks opening.”

He decided to map Queen’s Hills after his neighbour waited 45 minutes for an ambulance to arrive despite being just a couple of minutes from the depot at the Longwater interchange.

Much of the unfinished housing estate is not on GPS and with homes added in fits and starts over the years it is constantly changing – which can be a problem for the emergency services.

Now complete, he will give the latest version of the map to the emergency services and Queen’s Hills Primary School where he works as a site manager.

The map can be downloaded from the school’s website

Do you have a story about Costessey for the Evening News? Contact reporter Tom Bristow on 01603772313 or email

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