‘Lessons must be learned’ over Watton housing estate

PUBLISHED: 12:05 03 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:05 03 October 2014

Residents of Blenheim Grange in Carbrooke are unhapy with the some aspects of the estate. Picture: Ian Burt

Residents of Blenheim Grange in Carbrooke are unhapy with the some aspects of the estate. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2014

A councillor has warned lessons must be learned from an estate which has been left with few facilities.

Blenheim Grange, just off Norwich Road on the edge of Watton, was given the green light by the planning inspectorate in 2001, after Breckland Council had rejected the scheme.

Today the people who live there use an old shipping container for a community centre and their children have nowhere to play.

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman has said he is keen to resolve the issues and has called a number of meetings to try to make headway.

Breckland councillor Keith Gilbert, who represents Watton, said the case should be examined so that the same mistakes are not made elsewhere.

Mr Gilbert said: “It is too late now. These facilities should have been there from the start. They have a shop at the front and that is it.

“Breckland have got to learn the lesson from this.

“There is an estate being built over at Attleborough and don’t you think the people planning that would like to learn from this?”

Mr Freeman has brought together the housing associations involved on the estate, which is set on the former RAF Watton air base, Carbrooke Parish Council and the residents’ association with the hope of building a permanent community centre on the estate.

Mr Freeman said: “Hundreds of families are living without any community facilities.

“That is why, with Michael Wassell [Breckland Council leader], I have convened a steering group to launch a campaign for a community centre at Blenheim Grange.

“The people in Watton deserve the facilities that people in similar towns receive.”

The Blenheim Grange Residents’ Association said they are grateful

to Mr Freeman for arranging the meeting and are hopeful things are going in the right direction.

Do you live in Blenheim Grange? What do you think? Write to reporter Doug Faulkner at

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