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Residents ‘sold down the river’ over sports hall

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 14:35

Michael Pender-Cudlip (School sports hall has costs as well as benefits, 10 July 2020) is right about the cost of the proposed new sports hall to Reepham residents.

It seems we have been “sold down the river” by the plans for this being submitted during lockdown: residents deserve to have a proper consultation prior to planning approval being given.

There are many concerns about the size of this development and the potential chaos it will cause to residents in the area of Broomhill Lane, School Road and Whitwell Road, as well as adjoining roads.

The possible weight of increased traffic will cause enormous congestion at certain times of day. It is already an area to be avoided during the morning and afternoon, when pupils are arriving and leaving the high school. There will be the added danger to primary school pupils on School Road.

And how Reepham can possibly absorb 141 new dwellings is impossible to imagine.

The fact that only 20% of these homes will be “affordable” instead of the earlier allocated 30% for 120 dwellings means that Reepham residents are footing the bill and being subjected to environmental damage so the high school can have a new sports hall. This is hardly a “necessity” and is a high price to pay for Reepham.

We certainly need more housing, but not four-bedroom, highly priced properties. We also need environmentally friendly properties with solar panels, wind turbines, double glazing and good insulation. Will Lovells be building such properties?

Reepham is a unique, community friendly, small town. The roads and the Market Place are not well placed for widening or “improving”.

A development of the size of that proposed off Broomhill Lane has the potential to ruin the uniqueness we currently enjoy.

Brenda R Palmer, Chapel Close, Reepham

Sports hall bribery

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 14:11

I would like to congratulate Michael Pender-Cudlip on his letter (School sports hall has costs as well as benefits, 10 July 2020) regarding the “bribery” behind the proposed new sports hall at the high school.

The high school is part of an academy trust, which should be paying for any improvements to the school facilities.

As the community as a whole will suffer through the housing development off Broomhill Lane, the money being given by the developers should be used to the benefit of the whole town by perhaps building a new community hall/sports facilities on Stimpson’s Piece.

Bryan Gostling, Bircham Road, Reepham

School sports hall has costs as well as benefits

Friday, July 10, 2020 - 16:43

The case made by Tim Gibbs (“Community benefits from new high school sports hall”) enthusiastically describes the benefits to school and community, but it is hardly a balanced assessment as it is silent on two important issues:

1. The high school will receive £1.5 million from the Broomhill Lane developer in return for its support for this plan; the school can hardly claim to be a disinterested party.

2. The developer is using this additional cost to justify reducing the proportion of affordable houses from that agreed by Broadland District Council (20% instead of the stipulated 30%) and raising the density on the site (141 houses instead of the specified 120).

It may well be that the school intends to share this facility with the community, but since the community is bearing the cost for the benefit of the school, shouldn’t the community be asked whether it is happy with this trade-off?

Michael Pender-Cudlip, Mill Road, Reepham

The Irwins of Reepham House and connections to Egypt

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 16:31

Re: More memories of Ollands House

My mother worked for Mr and Mrs Irwin when I was at primary school. The daughter’s name was Ethany.

Mr Irwin was an underwriter for Lloyds of London and Mrs Irwin was from Egypt, so I was told; they used to go there a lot.

Reepham House was sold after I married in 1967 for about £3,500 – a total shame to all of us born here.

Marion Youngman, Ollands Road, Reepham

Apologies for wandering puppy

Thursday, June 18, 2020 - 18:25

To anyone who lives around Stimpson’s Piece, please accept my apologies if my puppy Willow wandered into your garden this lunchtime (Thursday 18 June 2020).

This is the first (and hopefully the last) time that she has slipped her lead.

Sue Turner, New Road, Reepham

More memories of Ollands House

Monday, June 15, 2020 - 08:56

Hopefully, we are slowly easing out of this dreadful pandemic, but I would like to thank Reepham Life for all their work throughout this time. It has been comforting for me to regularly be in touch and to read all about the news.

I would also like to reply to Marion Stiefel’s letter of 18 March 2020 and relate to her my memories of Ollands House, which I knew as Reepham House in the 1950-1960s.

My earliest memory would be in the 1950s when Mr and Mrs Irwin lived there with their daughter, Margaret. I remember them coming to church, always well dressed (as most people did in those days, as one wore their Sunday best) and they always sat in the same pew.

They didn’t come regularly, so perhaps they spent time away (perhaps travelling?) and I do not think that Margaret worked. I do not know what Mr. Irwin’s occupation was either. In my youth I likened them a little to the Royal Family as they did seem to have an air of royalty about them. Sadly, I do not know the first names of Mr and Mrs Irwin.

I do have an interesting anecdote from my mother, who told me that Mrs Irwin had told her that she had witnessed Howard Carter discovering the Tutankhamun tomb in 1922.

People will remember that the house was quite impressive with its red bricks and those marvellous chimneys, not forgetting the gardens largely laid down to lawns and big trees, some of which can be seen today, and I liked the sweeping drive from the Norwich Road.

Although I only went there on a few occasions with my sister, we both remember dancing there from Reepham school and there was a film made of the occasion. I do remember seeing it later, probably in the band hall.

The other occasions was a garden fête (or gala day) when again we danced and this time we had been rehearsed by Margaret Irwin. The event held many attractions, such as fancy dress, decorated bicycles and a tombola, and ladies were judged for best ankles and best hairstyles. Sadly, I have no photos to offer, but perhaps somebody else might be able to come forward with their memories.

It was a big house indeed and sad that it had to be demolished. There is a lot more I would like to know about its origins, but now when I enjoy a walk with my sisters through what was (to us) Reepham House and gardens, I see many delightful houses have been built and all is well. Sweet memories.

Tessa Copley, Hertford

Questions over the number of dwellings on residential development

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - 18:10

So, the developer of the Broomhill Lane site says it will contribute £1.5 million towards a new sports hall for the high school.

No developer makes a financial contribution without ensuring there are beneficial gains, hence the increase in the number of dwellings from 120 to 141, with further incursion into the rural landscape.

To recoup this substantial contribution will add approximately a further £10,640 per dwelling. What does this do to the viable affordable costs of the dwellings?

Is this a genuine, no-conditions-attached offer towards a new sports hall for the high school?

And if so, then why is the developer seeking to raise the number of dwellings from what was originally proposed (agreed) when the land was allocated for residential development?

Perhaps these questions need answering from those concerned before the planning application is determined.

Russell Vincent, Hackford Vale

Memories of VE Day

Saturday, May 2, 2020 - 09:01

As this year’s VE Day celebrations will not be taking place in the way we had hoped for due to Covid-19, and because I am feeling a sense of nostalgia just now, I would like to share my memory of one of the most magical days of my life.

I was nearing my seventh birthday [in May 1945] and on the way home from school I called in at my grandfather’s shop – a watchmakers and jewellers, which was next to the paper shop in Reepham (and now the post office too) – and collected my little blue fairy cycle.

My grandfather [William Bishop] was a man of few words, but on this day we popped into the paper shop and came out with three Union Jacks, one each for my sister and brother and one for me.

He carefully tied them to the handlebar of my bicycle, at the same time telling me that the war was over and that my daddy would be coming home soon.

Grandad then sent me home on this glorious May day, with my flags fluttering in the breeze, to Booton Beck cottages, where my mother, two sisters and brother were waiting and I told them the great news! (I had a new baby sister, but Grandad didn’t think we should include her, being so young).

My father was in India and we had to wait until Boxing Day before he came home, and that was another joyous occasion.

Tessa Copley, Hertford

Margaret Anne and William Bishop, possibly in the 1920s

Edward Seely, Tessa Copley’s father, pictured in front of his father-in-law’s (William Bishop’s) watchmaker’s shop in Market Place, Reepham, with Renee Hatley (nee Symonds) (left) and Doris, a cousin of Tessa Copley’s mother, who was visiting from London; possibly 1936/37.

Sports hall or affordable housing?

Friday, May 1, 2020 - 08:16

Readers might not realise from your news story (Plans submitted for 141 houses off Broomhill Lane) that the developer’s justification for the shortfall in affordable houses (20% instead of the stipulated 30%) and 21 additional dwellings (141 instead of the specified 120) is its decision to contribute £1.5 million to a new sports hall for Reepham High School.

No doubt the school governors (including Reepham’s district councillor, Stuart Beadle) are fully supportive of this, but it does not seem right that the school’s gain should be at the cost to the whole community of affordable homes and overdevelopment of the site.

Readers may wish to point out to Broadland District Council (email that this application breaches the council’s own development plan.

Michael Pender-Cudlip, Mill Road, Reepham

Lanes are unclassified county roads

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 18:21

Concerning the recent articles on the Broomhill Lane development, there are some misconceptions by the developer about the real status of the roads on the edge of this development.

There are no public rights of way (footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways or byways open to all traffic) on or adjacent to the land involved.

There are, however, “unsurfaced unclassified county roads” (UUCRs, or more often called UCRs).

These are shown on Ordnance Survey maps as “other routes with public access”. They are public highways, in just the same way as if they were surfaced.

Broomhill Lane, Back Lane and part of Park Lane that is unsurfaced are all UCRs.

These can be seen on the Norfolk interactive map: (ensure the “Norfolk County Council Maintained Unsurfaced Roads” box is ticked).

Of course, changes proposed in planning application 20200469 are not affected, except for the improvement to Park Lane, which would need the approval of Norfolk Highways, aside from planning permission.

Martin Sullivan, Kerdiston Road, Reepham