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Four West Norfolk farm sites set to be sold off under county council plans

Four areas of publicly owned land in West Norfolk look set to be sold off under new county council plans.

Officials say the sites at Gayton, South Wootton, Walpole Highway and Watlington, which are currently part of the County Farms portfolio, are no longer needed for operational use.

And a large part of the former Fakenham Academy site is also part of the proposals, which will go before the authority’s ruling cabinet next week.

Norfolk County Council headquarters (3027764)
Norfolk County Council headquarters (3027764)

They are being asked to formally declare the sites surplus to the council’s requirements and give officers the power to formally dispose of them.

A report published ahead of the cabinet meeting, which is due to take place next Monday, August 3, said: “The County Council challenges the use of its property on an ongoing basis.

“In the event of a property asset becoming surplus to an individual service need there are internal officer processes to ascertain whether other service areas have an unmet need that could be addressed by re-using the property asset for that service.

“The recommendation for each property is based on existing policies and strategies and judged to provide the best return to the County Council in financial terms and, where appropriate, taking account of community and economic benefits.”

In most cases, the lands would be sold on the open market, either by auction on tender.

But the report said interest has been expressed in the site at Hall Lane, South Wootton, as a location for a new doctor’s surgery and care housing. That proposal is currently being assessed.

The other West Norfolk sites included in the proposal are West Hall Farm at Gayton, as well as an area of land on Mill Road, Walpole Highway and a 330 square metre site next to Watlington’s Primary School.

Around half of the former Fakenham Academy site in Wells Road is also included in the sell-off proposals, though the report stresses that the measure will not affect plans to build a new special needs school there.

A sponsor was appointed to run the new school earlierthis month.

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