Ambitious bid for sustainable business and housing complex

Matthew Hewitt, director of Dr Stump, based on Buxton Road, Frettenham

Matthew Hewitt, director of Dr Stump, based on Buxton Road, Frettenham - Credit: Matthew Hewitt

Run down outbuildings on a rural plot could be torn down for a sustainable business and housing complex offering eco-living for future generations.

The hybrid plans for the 2.49 hectares off Buxton Road, in Frettenham, have been put forward by Matthew Hewitt to Broadland District Council.

Mr Hewitt, 36, who grew up in Frettenham, is director of Dr Stump, a tree removal business based on the plot where 18 sustainable homes and 14 small-scale business units could be built.

The brownfield site, which used to be a pig farm several decades ago, has been owned by Mr Hewitt's family 1996 said the response from the parish council and villagers to his idea was positive.

Mr Hewitt said: "We are excited. We are trying to encourage community living and improving ecology.

"My family have been in this village for six generations. This is a legacy project rather than knocking up cheap homes for profit. It is about building something that is going to outlive us all.

"We want to set a benchmark. The whole area has to reflect itself as a beacon for sustainability.

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"It is really important to supply affordable homes for people."

The director, who lives next to the site, said the businesses that were currently using the complex would remain there.

The front of the business complex in Buxton Road, Frettenham, which could be transformed into a business and housing base

The front of the business complex in Buxton Road, Frettenham, which could be transformed into a sustainable business and housing base - Credit: Google

He said the site was "a gateway" for small enterprises and hoped the site would attract cottage industries from people in the village and the further afield.

The commercial aspect could be done this year and it will fund the homes scheme, which could range from two bedrooms to four bedrooms and an area for self-builds.

All the homes and commercial units will be built to Passivhaus standards, which reduces energy costs.

Mr Hewitt is seeking outline planning permission for the homes and full planning for the business aspect, which features a small event space for 15-20 people.

He said the homes would include lots of open space and added there were hopes people who bought the homes would take up some of the commercial units, which would help their "work-life balance".

New green areas will be established to boost ecology and separate roads will be built for the homes and business units.