Families settle in at Norfolk's newest housing development

A new home at Tower Mill
Shannon Wright, left, one of the new residents of Tower Mill, Necton, receives her housekeys from Victory Homes new homes officer Emma Smith

Removal vans are being unloaded, furniture is being arranged and householders are clutching their new front door keys.

The final touches are now being put on a £9.7 million, 73-home development called Tower Mill in Necton, Norfolk, following two years of construction.

Among those moving into a new three-bed home was Shannon Wright, 27, who until now has been living with her children – aged three, eight and 10 - in a two-bedroom flat in nearby Swaffham.

She said: “I love it – it’s exactly what I wanted.

“This is my first house, we’ve always lived in flats, so it will be nice to have the separation of the upstairs and the downstairs. There’s plenty of space for us all now.”

Tower Mill Necton
At the Tower Mill site, are, from left, Victory Homes new homes officer Emma Smith, Flagship Homes’ senior project manager Steven Jones, United Living site manager David Holness and contracts manager Kevin Giles, Flagship Homes delivery manager James Ollington and Victory Homes new homes officer Kellie Essex 

The Flagship Homes development includes 20 shared ownership homes and 53 affordable rent homes – to be managed by Flagship’s housing association, Victory Homes.

When it is fully occupied more than 200 people will call Tower Mill home.

The 3.03ha (7.5 acre) site has 0.78 ha (2 acres) of open space and has features such as a children’s play park and a 5 metre (16ft) tall ‘bat barn’. This unusual structure was built at the end of a green avenue to give bats a spot to roost away from houses.

Colson Road Necton
Looking down Colson Road at Tower Mill, Necton 

Steven Jones, Flagship Homes’ senior project manager, said he was delighted with the development, which was built in partnership with construction firm United Living.

Mr Jones said: “It’s rewarding to see a really good site come to fruition. The street scenes feel nice and open, and there are plenty of trees. These homes look good.”

Emma Smith, Victory's new homes officer, said: “They’re lovely new-builds. They each represent a fresh start for somebody, and a new chapter in their lives.”

Homes England, a government body funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, helped pay for the project.

Steve Jones
Steven Jones, Flagship Homes’ senior project managerwith plans for the Tower Mill site

The homes are arranged around two new cul-de-sacs off North Pickenham Road called Colson Road and Honeypot Close.

Tower Mill includes 10 one-bedroom flats, eight two-bedroom bungalows, 23 two-bedroom houses, 28 three-bedroom houses and four four-bedroom houses.

The name Tower Mill was chosen as a nod to a former mill with the same name in the village, which was once five storeys high.

The one-storey remnant of the mill is still there in Mill Street, next to a pub and restaurant called The Windmill. 

Bat barn

The 'bat barn' at Tower Mill, Necton

New houses Tower Mill
New houses at Tower Mill, Necton

New bungalows at Tower Mill, Necton