Plan to move allotments to make way for housing in Wells

The allotments of Mill Road in Wells-next-the-Sea

The allotments of Mill Road in Wells-next-the-Sea, which would have to be moved if the proposal for affordable and extra-care homes goes ahead. - Credit: Google StreetView

Plans have been made to build 62 'extra-care' homes and 62 affordable homes on an allotment site just outside one of Norfolk's most popular seaside towns. 

But before the estate on Mill Road, Wells-next-the-Sea, can go ahead, developers will have to jump through hoops, including having a covenant lifted which dictates the land can only be used for allotments or small holdings. 

The plans are already being opposed by some, including Mark Frary, who is a fourth-generation allotment holder at the site. 

Mr Frary, who lives at Hempton, just outside Fakenham, said: "We don't want this to go ahead. 

"It's a lovely green space and it's a lovely meeting point for the allotment holders." 

Mr Frary and other allotment holders have received a letter from Wells Town Council outlining the plans, which call for the allotments to be moved to the south-eastern corner of the site, next to Two Furlong Hill. 

Mark Frary, from Hempton

Mark Frary. - Credit: Mark Frary

The letter reads: "Wells Town Council has received an unsolicited proposal from a company called Medcentres, who in partnership with NNDC (North Norfolk District Council) and Flagship Housing, wants to build a 62-unit extra care facility and 62 affordable homes on the Westfield Allotment site. 

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"Some of the affordable homes would be transferred to Homes for Wells and the others managed by Flagship Homes. The extra care units would be flats, some would be at affordable rent and others for sale to those that qualify.

"As a representative body, the council will seek the opinions of Wells residents before reaching any final decision and any decision would have to be made with legal advice and in consultation with Holkham who hold a covenant over the land."

The land the allotments are on was 'conveyed' to the to the Wells Urban District Council in 1948 by the then Earl of Leicester, owner of Holkham Estate. Under the covenant the council was "not to use or permit the use of the property hereby conveyed for any other purpose than small holdings or allotments".

Mike Gates, town mayor, said the proposal would be discussed at a town council meeting on Monday, September 6. 

Mike Gates, the mayor of Wells-next-the-Sea. 

Mike Gates, the mayor of Wells-next-the-Sea. - Credit: Archant Library

Mr Gates said: "No decisions have been made at this stage. We have a couple of proposals that we have to consider."