Former school playing field could make way for new homes

Former Woodside Primary and Nursery School in Hethersett.

Woodside Primary and Nursery School's former site in Firs Road, Hethersett, where the playing field could be sold off to make way for housing. - Credit: Peter Steward

A former school playing field could be sold off by council bosses, to make way for new homes.

Woodside Primary and Nursery School's former site in Firs Road, Hethersett has been empty since it moved to a new building in Coachmakers Way.

But Norfolk County Council, which has been using the former school for storage, is considering selling off its 1.3 acre playing field to a developer.

Former Woodside Primary and Nursery School in Hethersett.

Norfolk County Council is contemplating selling the playing field at the former Woodside Primary and Nursery School in Hethersett. - Credit: Peter Steward

The proposal is to sell the playing fields for affordable housing for people with care and support needs to help them to live independently in the community.

The development would include a mix of apartments to support independent living for older people along with housing for people with disabilities.

If the plans fail to come to fruition, the county council has said the land will be offered for sale on the open market.

A county council spokesperson said: "Following the relocation of the school we want to ensure the land is put to good use.

"We are therefore looking at number of options including whether to sell the site, or to develop it for an independent living scheme.

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"We are only at the early stage of evaluating the different options."

The scheme would be subject to the approval of education secretary Nadhim Zahawi.

Hethersett Conservative county councillor David Bills said he was largely supportive of the idea but was waiting to hear the full details.

David Bills, Conservative county councillor for Hethersett.

David Bills, Conservative county councillor for Hethersett. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

He said: There is a definite need for this type of development. I am largely supportive and looking forward to hearing more about the scheme through meetings in the coming week or so."

Adrienne Quinlan, chairman of Hethersett Parish Council, said the matter will be discussed at a council meeting on February 21.

Chair of Hethersett Parish Council, Adrienne Quinlan

Chair of Hethersett Parish Council, Adrienne Quinlan - Credit: Adrienne Quinlan

A decision on what will happen to the former school building, which is not part of these plans. will be taken as a separate issue.

The issue of new homes in Hethersett has been the subject of debate, with concerns over the pressure on services such as GP surgeries.

Consultation over the former playing field runs at www.norfolk.citizenspace.com/childrens-services/hethersett-woodside-section-77, until March 16.