New homes plan rejected at former village school

The Old Schoolhouse in Rackheath. Pictured inset is county councillor Fran Whymark who lives in the village 

The Old Schoolhouse in Rackheath. Pictured inset is county councillor Fran Whymark who lives in the village - Credit: Steve Adams/Fran Whymark

While thousands of new houses have been earmarked for Rackheath plans to convert a former school into two homes have been thrown out.

Rackheath is undergoing widespread development with a number of major projects being lined up including Taylor Wimpey's North Rackheath Masterplan for nearly 4,000 new homes.

This 268-hectare plot, known as GT16, has been put forward to Broadland District Council as part of the Greater Norwich Local Plan which will see 45,000 new homes in and around the city by 2041.

The view from Green Lane West as construction work continues for new development in Rackheath

The view from Green Lane West as construction work continues for new development in Rackheath - Credit: Ben Hardy

But one developer and city businessman has struggled to get his vision for two new homes past the district council. 

Dennis Jeans, of Bright Future Developments, had proposed two semi-detached homes in the cul-de-sac at the Old School House in Green Lane West. 

The Old School House in Rackheath. Photo: Steve Adams

The Old School House in Rackheath. Photo: Steve Adams

Broadland District Council rejected the plans due to "the restricted size of the site and the position" as well as "unacceptable levels of overshadowing" from trees which would "result in poor living conditions".

Fran Whymark, district and county councillor for Rackheath (Cons) said: "There are so many different factors with planning applications. 

Fran Whymark, Broadland District Councillor

Fran Whymark, Broadland District Councillor - Credit: Archant

"In an ideal world anyone who put two homes forward would be good enough. If applicants had conversations beforehand then a lot more would be approved.

"In reality two homes could still be built on that particular plot." 

Some objections had previously been voiced by folk living nearby regarding the potential for eight car movements creating safety problems along Green Lane West.

Green Lane West in Rackheath 

Green Lane West in Rackheath - Credit: Google Maps

A homeowner wrote to the council: "The cul-de-sac still suffers from vehicles parking up on the road presently - quite often opposite this site - and nothing has been done to resolve it which would again increase the safety risk that currently exists."

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Mr Whymark added: "That is a normal expected objection. Everyone wants to live somewhere but does not want someone living nearby.

"Two to four cars would not make much of a difference as Green Lane West is the main road into the industrial estate.

"With GT16 and other bits and pieces, a lot of people will be coming that way so it is difficult to argue against another few coming down."