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Developers scrap controversial plans to build 148 homes in Norfolk village

PUBLISHED: 09:21 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:21 12 March 2019

Plans for new homes would have been developed on land behind Brooke Village Hall. Picture: Nick Butcher

Plans for new homes would have been developed on land behind Brooke Village Hall. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Plans to build 148 homes and a new primary school in a village that had drawn more than 250 objections have been withdrawn by developers.

The site of the proposed development of new homes and a primary school in Brooke plans for which have now ben withdrawn. Picture: GoogleThe site of the proposed development of new homes and a primary school in Brooke plans for which have now ben withdrawn. Picture: Google

The proposals for almost 10 hectares of land to the east of Norwich Road in Brooke had proved controversial since it was first mooted.

A public consultation was attended by hundreds of people living in the area and the number of planned homes was reduced when the application was submitted to South Norfolk Council last August. However the overwhelming comments submitted from the public have opposed it.

Norwich-based developers FW Properties have now withdrawn its plans citing recent changes to the five year land supply earmarked for development by the district council and the uncertainty surrounding a new 210 pupil primary school for the village.

Plans for new homes and a primary school behind Brooke Village Hall have now been withdrawn by developers. Picture: Nick ButcherPlans for new homes and a primary school behind Brooke Village Hall have now been withdrawn by developers. Picture: Nick Butcher

Director Julian Wells said: “One of the parts of our planning application was the fact that this part of South Norfolk could be seen as lacking a five year land supply. We believe that is no longer the case and whilst it has not been fully confirmed at this stage the writing looks pretty much on the wall for that.”

Although FW Properties had designated land for a new school, Norfolk County Council had not confirmed whether funding would be available.

“The county council have not committed to the primary school as we hoped and wanted them to,” said Mr Wells. “They are very unclear as to what they are doing in this part of the district. We wanted a greater commitment than they were prepared to give.”

FW Properties director Julian Wells and local councillor John Fuller who has welcome with withdrawl of plans for 148 new homes in Brooke. Pictures: FW Properties/South Norfolk CouncilFW Properties director Julian Wells and local councillor John Fuller who has welcome with withdrawl of plans for 148 new homes in Brooke. Pictures: FW Properties/South Norfolk Council

John Fuller, councillor for Brooke, welcomed the decision saying the plans had “always faced an uphill task”.

“Given that the council now has a five year land supply and the developer was unable to come to an agreement over a new school then clearly the development was against the local plan and should have been refused,” he said. “I think the developer deserves credit for withdrawing it rather than prolonging the agony any further.”

The development on what is currently agricultural land behind Brooke Village Hall would have been one of the biggest taken on by FW Properties who recently completed 12 new homes on the same road. The company has not ruled out revisiting the site in future.

Developers had wanted to build 148 homes and a new primary school in Brooke but the plans had drawn more than 250 objections. Picture: FW Properties/South Norfolk CouncilDevelopers had wanted to build 148 homes and a new primary school in Brooke but the plans had drawn more than 250 objections. Picture: FW Properties/South Norfolk Council

Mr Wells, who lives in Brooke, said: “The site is too good. I genuinely believe that this is the most appropriate location for some new homes in the village; the much needed array of new-build smaller homes to bring in younger families to Brooke.

“The supporting technical analysis that went in with our application very much endorsed that. One day I’m sure we will have another look.”

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