Allotments and community woodland figure in options for development of £4m site bought by Norfolk Council

Norfolk County Council has bought a 250ha former RAF base and is to create a community woodland as a forerunner to more green spaces such as allotments.

The local authority bought the base for £4m from the Ministry of Justice last week and is toying with several development options including a swathe of allotments, agriculture, housing and a new hub for businesses.

"However no suggestions are ruled in or out at this stage and the people of Norfolk are being invited to suggest ideas for potential use of the site and submit their ideas to the authority," said counsellor Cliff Jordan.

"We are working closely with English Heritage and have commissioned experts at the University of East Anglia to help us in our thinking. Allotments for local people and community woodland are a real possibility."

Cabinet member for economic development Ann Steward said: "We feared the site could remain unsold or bought speculatively and left unused for even longer. This is why we purchased it for the benefit of local people and the wider Norfolk economy.

"The site will create a significant income stream for the county council as we move away from direct reliance on Government grants. It won’t be a quick win but we believe it can become a real strategic asset for the Norfolk economy."

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