Estate with 5,000 residents to get its first shop - after 14 years
- Credit: Sophie Wyllie
A large housing development could soon have its first shop 14 years after building work started on the estate.
The Co-op food store will be built on land off Fieldfare Way, Queen’s Hill, on the edge of Costessey, according to Costessey Town Council member John Flowerdew, who, along with four others, represents the estate.
The estate has 1,784 homes and around 5,000 people living on it and its nearest food shop is Sainsbury’s superstore on the Longwater Retail Park.
It has a community centre on the edge of the development, a large primary school and nursery, as well as playgrounds, but Mr Flowerdew believed the new shop would bring the community together.
He said: “The land it will be on is an empty building plot. It is not very inspiring. There is a bit of a buzz in the community about the shop.”
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The store, opposite the school, will be part of a bigger development in the centre of the estate made up of three other smaller shop/commercial units and a car park for more than 30 vehicles.
Mr Flowerdew added a Norwich-based estate agent would be moving into one of the other units and hew hoped the other spaces could be used by a takeaway food business, retail and café.
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“Queen’s Hill is quite an isolated community. With a café there is an opportunity for the community to get together in small groups. My hope is to create a community hub. Queen’s Hill can become more of a village at long last rather than a development of houses,” he said.
MORE: ‘Threat to lives’ as ambulances trapped in traffic jams on estateThe development was granted planning permission by South Norfolk Council in October 2019. The store is expected to open in the second half of next year.
There are also plans for 16 two and three-bedrooom homes to be built close to the shop to be decided by district council.
Gary Blundell, who also represents Queen’s Hill on the town council, welcomed the new shop and said previous applications for a retail unit on the estate failed because they were not financially viable.
“It is not for a lack of trying,” he said. “It will be a case of use it or lose it.”
Emma Perrin, regional acquisition manager for Co-op, said they were “delighted” to open the shop, and said they hoped it would be the “heart of local life”.