Controversial plans for a 50ft tower at a fire station have been scrapped after a fierce backlash from locals who claimed it would invade their privacy.

The structure was to be installed at Hethersett Fire Station in Norwich Road, but complaints from homeowners said it would allow firefighters to peep into their homes and gardens.  

One unhappy neighbour said: "The ability to enjoy our own gardens and look out from our windows without constant observation would be severely hindered.

"This would lead to a sense of intrusion and discomfort."

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Along with privacy fears, locals also raised concerns about noise and light.  

“The community already tolerate the traffic and noise generated by the station,” another homeowner said.  

"To add this tower would only mean more use by other fire crews sharing the facilities.

"And at nearly 15 meters tall, this would clearly encroach on the peace, tranquillity and privacy of the surrounding houses and gardens."

Fire station bosses argued that the tower would have been used for training, with normal training hours set on Tuesdays between 6pm and 9pm, but additional training evenings would have occurred every so often.

They also argued that the site has "ineffective training capabilities". 

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Despite this, the fire service has scrapped the proposals due to the backlash.  

A spokesman said: "Engaging with local communities about our plans and listening to their views is really important to us.

"And we have taken their concerns seriously.

"As a result, although local fire crews would benefit from being able to train at Hethersett, we have decided to withdraw the application to build the new training tower there.

"Firefighters will continue to train at neighbouring stations instead while we keep this matter under review."