Construction college's plans to raise £1.5m by building homes have been halted

The National Construction College (NCC) has been forced to scale down its redevelopment plans after councillors rejected plans to build homes to fund the institution.

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk council rejected plans for 24 homes on the eastern side of the side in Bircham Newton, Norfolk, which would have raised £1.5m towards redevelopment.

The college planned to put the money towards a £4.3m contribution needed to secure funding of £17.2m for the whole project from the Learning and Skills Council.

The cash from the housing sale was earmarked for improved sports facilities, demolishing redundant buildings and landscaping.

Without planning permission the land on the south east side of the road opposite the college is likely to remain derelict and plans for a community swimming pool are under threat.

Earlier this year, the Department for Communities and Local Government had rejected plans to build 250 homes on the site.

NCC director David Boyden said the news had come as a shock. “The Development Control Board knew this was the last piece of the jigsaw and has failed to support us once again. We are now forced to revisit our redevelopment plans and consider if new facilities like the swimming pool are affordable – which is a huge shame for our trainees and the local community.”

A second application for the college redevelopment was approved.

The NCC said it was unlikely to appeal the rejection and would review its plans.