Estate planning council coup with bid for independence
- Credit: Danielle Booden
A housing estate is making a bid for freedom as it seeks to split with its town council.
A petition has been launched by the Queens Hills Independence Forum urging people to back a move which would see the estate run independently.
As well as a change.org petition organised by the non-political group, changes to the boundary of the community have also been proposed.
John Flowerdew, from Old Costessey, who is part of the group and was on Costessey Town Council as an Independent until December last year, said: "This isn't going to be an easy journey. Queen's Hill is its own community that should be governing itself."
Development on Queen's Hill started around 13 years ago and it now has 1,879 homes with over 3,000 residents, as work comes to an end.
Costessey Town Council and five councillors out of 19 have represented the area, along with the rest of the district after a community governance review by South Norfolk Council in 2015.
But Mr Flowerdew, whose son and two grandchildren live on Queen's Hill, is urging the council to do another review to put in a separate community council from May 2023.
Some 300 signatures are needed for this and it would tie in with potential Norfolk electoral boundary changes where Queen's Hill would be part of the Yare Valley and not Costessey from 2025.
Mr Flowerdew added there was resentment from some people about the lack of spending on the estate by the town council and there was interest from people on Queen's Hill to be part of a community council.
Dan Burrill, town council chairman, said: "This was debated a year ago but the council decided not to support the community governance review. The council has to consider what is going to benefit the residents of Costessey and Queen's Hill."
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He and another town councillor, Gary Blundell, who lives in Queen's Hill, said the council financially supported the estate but was prevented from doing some things because it had not yet been adopted from the building consortium.
Mr Burrill added: "The slow nature of the adoption process has been a constant source of frustration."
Mr Blundell said: "It is better to work together. I have not heard of any resentment."
A South Norfolk Council spokesperson said: "If the petition has the required number of signatures the council will consider a boundary review."
To sign the petition visit https://bit.ly/3jwQCUD