Historic England steps in on plot to build homes on Deer Park
- Credit: Ben Hardy/Britanny Woodman
A government department which champions the historic environment has thrown its weight behind a campaign to protect a cherished green space in the city.
The Deer Park in Old Catton's Spixworth Road has been purchased by Attleborough-based property company Devlin Developments.
This has prompted fears within the community over the future of the beloved park which is located within a conservation area.
Historic England has been in talks with Old Catton district councillor Ken Leggett to hear the concerns over the future of the park which is home to variety of wildlife including deer, foxes, owls and bats.
A spokeswoman for Historic England said: "We would welcome engagement with Devlin Developments to offer our advice, particularly in the pre-application stages of any future plans they have for the site.
"Catton Park, including the Deer Park, is registered at Grade II*, making it a historic designed landscape of national significance. Any proposed development would need to conserve and enhance this important parkland."
Lee Devlin, director of Devlin Developments has declined to comment on whether he will be communicating with Historic England.
The businessman - who bought the Deer Park from the Buxton family in Old Catton - previously said he intends to build on a "small part" of the land and his goal was to build sustainable housing.
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Mr Leggett said: "Many of the councillors feel very strongly about the Deer Park and have done as much as they can so far. Until a planning application is received there is not much more we can do.
"I have spoken with Historic England and it's considered a two-star registered park and historic garden which is a community asset.
"As far as Historic England is concerned it should remain as it is. But of course the owner has a right to own it and he has bought it.
"If he did put a planning application in then Broadland District Council would have to consult with Historic England. They are aware of what is going on."
Norwich ecologist and nature writer Kate Blincoe said: "Green space like the Deer Park must be protected.
"It’s essential for wildlife but also for ensuring the health and wellbeing of local people."