School, playing field and farm could be sold to make way for homes

Hunstanton Infant School

The former Hunstanton Infant School could be turned into homes. - Credit: Gary Johns Architects

A former school, a playing field and a farm could all make way for housing as County Hall bosses look to sell off more council-owned property.

The Conservative-controlled cabinet at Norfolk County Council is next week due to agree to sell three plots of land to a housing company which it owns.

Amid a need to plug funding gaps, the council has been looking to generate money by selling off surplus land and properties.

And the latest proposals would see land sold to Repton Property Developments.

That is a company owned by the county council, which works with developers to obtain planning permission and provide housing on council land.

Hunstanton Infant School, off James Street, which has been empty since 2015, is one of the three plots the cabinet is due to agree to offer to Repton Property Developments.

Hunstanton Infant School

The former Hunstanton Infant School. - Credit: Chris Bishop

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The site has been mothballed since the infant school was merged with Redgate School, with pupils and staff transferring in 2015.

Plans revealed in January propose converting the original Victorian building into seven homes, with another four new homes built on the site.

The second plot is what used to be the playing field of the John Grant School in Caister.

The John Grant School in Caister for children with special educational needs. Photo: Angela Sharpe.

John Grant School in Caister. - Credit: Archant © 2008

Plans for 19 homes there were agreed two years ago, despite opposition from neighbours.

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The third site is a four-acre farm, off Station Road in Lingwood, which forms part of the council's County Farms estate but has been deemed surplus to the authority's requirements.

A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said: "Repton was created to maximise income from Norfolk County Council land that is no longer needed.

"This approach provides high quality homes for people who want to live and work in Norfolk, creates jobs and apprenticeships, and builds social value through the creation of affordable homes on our site in Acle.”

The council's cabinet is due to agree to offer the land to Repton Property Developments at a meeting on Monday, September 6.

What is Repton Property Developments?

Repton Property Developments was set up by Norfolk County Council in 2017.

The idea is that the company works with developers to secure planning permission and provide housing on council land.

One of the first schemes is at Norwich Road in Acle, where Repton has been working with Lovell to build 69 homes.

The county council says selling land to Repton to develop generates money which can be used to cover funding cuts and ensure services are not axed.

But there has been criticism from political opponents over how some of the profits are being used to bankroll the controversial Norwich Western Link road.

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