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Major homes scheme back on course after delay concerns

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A major housing development threatened with lengthy delays after a building firm went out of business is back on course.Florence Fields, a 226-home scheme delivered by West Norfolk Council and Lovell Homes in Lynn has faced several problems in the past 12 months.The latest setback came in March when the groundwork contractor, Bowie Construction, ceased trading.

Florence Fields will be built next to the Lynn Academy site on Queen Mary Road/Parkway, Gaywood

It follows the site being flooded due to the winter’s heavy rain and issues with drainage caused by a blocked Network Rail culvert.There was concern that this could delay the completion of the project – expected to finish in 2027 – by 12 months but Lovell Homes, which is responsible for building the West Norfolk Council-funded scheme, has now found a new contractor.The news was revealed at a Major Projects Board meeting, during which an officer said it means the project will no longer be “pushed back significantly” and the issue has not put the council in a worse position financially.

The Florence Fields housing scheme plans

A different subcontractor has been appointed to complete the work at the 70-home Salter’s Road development in the town, which was also at risk following Bowie Construction pulling out. This was done to “minimise the risk” of both sites being affected if a similar problem arises.Florence Fields is a flagship development for West Norfolk Council, which will provide affordable homes and private rental properties.It is named after a First World War veteran who lived in the town, Florence Green. The houses are being built to high environmental standards and a new nature reserve will also be created next door.However, the project has encountered several issues, which have led costs to rise from £48.3m to £54.4m.Drainage problems continue to be investigated, with the Internal Drainage Board working with Network Rail and the council to improve the situation.

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