Bid for new homes after school plan dropped
- Credit: Sophie Wyllie
New homes could be built on land previously designated for a primary school on a growing development near the A47.
A pre-planning consultation for the 44 homes on Hampden View would be on top of the 509-home Taylor Wimpey Lodge Farm development next to Dereham Road, Costessey, granted planning permission in April 2014.
Around 330 homes have been built next to 488 homes constructed by Taylor Wimpey and Hopkins Homes, finished in 2014/15.
Originally there were plans for a single form entry school on Hampden View, according to consultation documents.
But in 2018 Norfolk County Council confirmed a school was no longer needed due to local education reorganisation and it did not want the land transferred to the authority.
A 39-year-old father--of-two, who moved to the estate nine years ago with a view of starting a family with his new wife, said: "I'm angry because we spent thousands of pounds on false pretences. They need to build the infrastructure first before thousands of people move in."
He said his eight-year-old son has to go to school in Bawburgh and no school is within walking distance.
A woman, who also lives on the estate, said: "We need more school places and schools. They are overcrowded."
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She added that it was difficult to get doctors appointments too, which would be made harder by more homes being built.
But some homeowners opposite the empty plot were happy there was not going to be a school because of worries of extra traffic on the school run.
Michael Moughton, 34, said: "I would rather look out on a nice view of green space but if you move onto a new development you should expect things to be built up."
Taylor Wimpey is expected to submit detailed plans on June 21 which will include 28pc affordable housing (12 homes), and building work would start late 2023.
They said the new homes were "not expected to cause any additional pressures on local roads, utilities and services".
John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We funded a £3.95 million expansion of Costessey Primary school, which opened in September 2019 creating new school places, which have provided enough capacity for all local children.
"It is our responsibility to ensure there are enough school places. Where housing is developed we would always ensure at the very early stages that a site is set aside for a new school. But in the case of Lodge Farm, after measuring the demand for places, it proved that the best option was to expand the existing school.”
The online consultation runs until June 4.