Council's bid to buy Deer Park rejected by developer

The Deer Park in Old Catton 

The deer park in Old Catton - Credit: Deer Park Action Group

An offer from the parish council to buy an historic green space has been thrown out by a housing developer.

Old Catton Parish Council put a bid to Devlin Developments to purchase the Deer Park in Spixworth Road after the firm had snapped it up.

No plans have been lodged for the park by the Attleborough-based housing partner but director Lee Devlin previously said he remains "open minded" over the park, which is located in a conservation area.

The council's offer so far has been rejected.

Sarah Vincent, parish council clerk, said: "It is disappointing the parish council was not given the opportunity to buy the Deer Park from former owners the Buxton family. We have to move forward and see what else we can do.

"If the parish council are able to own the land similar to how we took over Catton Park we will endeavour to do that. We are maintaining communication with Devlin.

"We have to wait and see.

"The parish council is opposed to any development of green space in Old Catton. We want to preserve our historic spaces."

Mike Scott, the spokesman for the Deer Park Action Group in Old Catton

Mike Scott, the spokesman for the Deer Park Action Group in Old Catton - Credit: Contributed

Mike Scott, 65, from Burma Road in Old Catton and a member of the Deer Park Action Group, said: "I'm not really surprised by the response. The council is duty-bound to do something. Attempting to buy the park was an obvious thing to."

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He added there were about 50 people in the community action group which is against any form of development of the Deer Park.

"Most people cannot believe what is going on," the semi-retired consultant engineer said.

He feared potential housing plans would prevail.

Karen Vincent

Karen Vincent, Conservative district councillor for Old Catton - Credit: Supplied by Karen Vincent

Karen Vincent, Conservative member for Old Catton ward on Broadland District Council, said: "I'm shocked and dismayed at what has happened.

"Development on any part of the Deer Park would damage it because of its visual and historical significance to Old Catton. It isn't just another piece of ground but a place that should be protected.

"It is a prominent feature and people who live here love seeing the horses there."

A public meeting regarding the Deer Park is happening on June 10 in the Church Hall, Blacksmiths Way, from 6.30pm.

Mr Devlin declined to comment.