Initial proposals to build homes on the site of Fakenham’s old court building have been approved, council documents have revealed.
The decision to grant outline permission for the Barons Close site was published in North Norfolk District Council papers ahead of a meeting of its development committee on Thursday.
However, the plan was opposed by both residents and community leaders, while a more detailed application will need to be approved before any building work can start on the site.
Norfolk County Council submitted an application to knock down the old court house and build three homes on the site in January.
The building was last used as a court house in April 2002, when a restructuring of the justice system saw cases that would have been heard there transferred to Lynn.
Following the closure, the building was initially used as office space, and town councillors argued that the site should again be used commercially.
Minutes of the meeting where the application was considered said the town authority opposed the scheme as “the building is a good quality commercial space and would be better leased or rented.”
They also echoed the safety concerns of neighbouring residents about the number of vehicles parking in the area.
But the developers maintain that the proposal does fit in with the density of housing seen in the areas round the site.
Documents submitted as part of the application added: “A residential use would appear to be the most appropriate given the residential character of the surrounding area to the south and west.”
The court building is connected to the town’s police station, which will remain in place.