Homes could be built on 'lovely green space' if appeal succeeds

Penny Sheppard, headteacher of Queen's Hills Primary School and Nursery. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Penny Sheppard, headteacher of Queen's Hills Primary School and Nursery. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE - Credit: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Controversial plans to build houses on land used by school kids and a nearby housing estate could be revived at appeal.

In March, property developers Wimbug Corporation saw plans to build two bungalows and a corner shop in Kestrel Avenue opposite Queen's Hill Primary School refused by South Norfolk Council.

The bid was thrown out amid safety concerns from governors at the Costessey primary school, with fears the new homes would exacerbate existing traffic issues in the area.

But these plans have now been appealed by Wimbug, meaning the fate of an amended version of the plans will now go above the council and be placed directly in the hands of the Planning Inspector.

The applicant is hopeful that the removal of the proposed corner shop will be enough to sway the inspector in its favour, with the project now only set to include the two bungalows.

But Penny Sheppard, headteacher at Queen's Hill, said the school's concerns still stood despite the removal of the shop.

She said: "It is only a small bit of land but lots of children play there and it is a lovely bit of green space for them to enjoy.

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"The roads here are narrow so the situation really is not great.

"Our school governors will be looking at the appeal closely and will then make a decision on how they want to respond to it."

Mrs Sheppard added that the school was already anxious about the traffic impact of a new Co-op store, which is due to open later this year.

In refusing the application in March, councillors voted against the scheme arguing the development would be cramped and would result in "significant negative impact on amenity" in the estate, which uses the space for amenity.

In papers submitted as part of the appeal the developer said: "The appellant has sought to engage with the council in a positive manner. An appeal has been made as a last resort.

"The proposal would be very much in keeping with the surrounding pattern of development and the design and massing ensures that the development would be locally distinctive."

The appeal will be decided in due course.