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Council could make millions by building hundreds of homes on market town farmland

PUBLISHED: 08:32 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:37 21 May 2019

An aerial view of Attleborough, where Norfolk County Council could build homes. Picture: Mike Page

An aerial view of Attleborough, where Norfolk County Council could build homes. Picture: Mike Page

Copypright Mike Page, All Rights Reserved Before any use is made of this picture, including dispaly, publication, broadcast, syn

A market town which already has thousands of new homes in the pipeline has been earmarked for further development by the county council.

In the coming years, Attleborough looks set to swell to almost double in size, with a scheme promising 4,000 new homes among those already to have been given approval.

But the town's rapid growth could not stop here - with Norfolk County Council lodging a bid to repurpose almost seven hectares of agricultural land for residential use.

While the council has not indicated how many homes it would build on the land, off Hargham Road, experts suggest a typical site of this size would accommodate hundreds homes and earn in the region of £6m.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: "This is an outline application that seeks to identify points of access and the potential of land for development.

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"Norfolk County Council believes there are strong policy justifications for the allocation of this land as a residential site, helping to bring much needed homes in a sustainable location."

The land is current part of the Norfolk County Farms estate, however, acquisition of other sites for the estate have freed this up for potential residential use.

The spokesman added: "There is a constitutional commitment for Norfolk County Farms to have a minimum of 16,000 acres and we have secured a number of high quality farmland near to our existing estate.

"It is likely that should full planning permission be achieved, the council will seek to develop the site through its housing company, Repton Homes."

The application comes just months after Breckland Council granted outline planning permission for a major development of 4,000 homes and two new primary schools in the town.

Tony Crouch, mayor of Attleborough, said the application would be discussed at the town council's next planning meeting.

He said: "I know a lot of people in the town are not happy with the amount of housing we have coming in general, but unfortunately this is the same for all towns in Breckland. We are all going to get bigger due to growing pressure from the government to build houses."

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