Saga around homes near Gorleston Catholic school could finally reach an end with decision due

PUBLISHED: 16:55 02 August 2018

The access road and land off East Anglian Way in Gorleston. Badger Building planning application.  Picture: James Bass

The access road and land off East Anglian Way in Gorleston. Badger Building planning application. Picture: James Bass

Developers hoping to build more than 70 homes behind a school in Gorleston should finally discover the project’s fate next week.

Lowestoft-based Badger Building’s bid to develop land behind St Mary’s Roman Catholic School on East Anglian Way has been a long-running saga, with various tweaks and changes along the way.

However, on Wednesday, it could finally be resolved, with Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s planning committee expected to approve its latest revision - a return to its original form.

Earlier in the year, the house builder had looked to build 96 homes on the land, which included a controversial access point through Gorleston recreation ground, off Church Lane.

But after fierce opposition, including a petition signed by more than 1,500 people, Badger agreed to scrap the scheme, instead reverting back to its original plan for 71 homes.

Access to the new site will instead be provided by an extension of East Anglian Way - though the developers have sought permission to still use the park for construction access while the homes are being built.

East Norfolk Sixth Form College, though, has requested this traffic be restricted during school pick-up times - 8.30am until 9,15am and 3.30pm until 4.15pm.

Alongside this, the developers have also revived plans to provide a car park and drop-off point to the school, a proposal that was not included in the revised scheme.

Should the application be approved, this car park and drop-off point would be gifted to the diocese running the school.

Edward Gilder, land and planning manager for Badger Building said: “On account of the very significant number of objections, including from Sport England concerned about loss of playing pitch space, we have withdrawn the application for 96 dwellings and asked the council to determine the original scheme for 71, served off East Anglian Way.”

The scheme may also see expansion work funded for another of the borough’s schools - Wroughton Infant Academy - with Norfolk County Council seeking a contribution of £104,796 from the developers to fund this.

The plans go before committee on Wednesday, August 9, with officers recommending it for approval.

Mr Gilder had said the borough council land has been earmarked for housing since 1998.

Badger Building have been trying for seven years to make the site work.

What do you think of the plans? Write to the Mercury at 12 King Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 2BA.

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