Schools in Diss and Roydon will benefit from £640,000 of much needed investment when a stalled housing estate in Diss is finally finished.
There were fears that the quarter-finished development, on the Diss and Roydon boundary, would never yield the investment into schools that the community was promised.
Now major house builder Persimmon Homes, responsible for many of the new developments in Diss, has signed a legal agreement committing it to paying the cash in two lump sums, as the estate, off Denmark Lane, develops.
The news was welcomed by Norfolk County Council’s Children’s Services department.
A spokesman said: “We will now be beginning discussions with schools in the Roydon and Diss area to determine how the money should be best spent.”
Roydon Primary School, for example, has four mobile buildings on its site currently, to try to cope with demand.
Norfolk County Council estimated in a report last year that the development would bring in about 50 extra children requiring school placements, pointing out that Roydon and Diss High Schools were in need of more capacity.
The site was originally being developed by C Zero and there were major concerns when it put in a revised planning application last year for the site, which included cutting its contribution to schools to just £51,000.
It justified this by saying it was the only way in which it could deliver some of the affordable homes promises agreed in the original planning permission in 2009.
But South Norfolk Council refused to give them permission.
This led to Persimmon Homes taking on the site, and they will build the remaining 85 homes of the 114-property development, as well as providing the cash for schools.
In total, the development is worth about £800,000 for local infrastructure, with more than £100,000 of payments, known as a Section 106 agreement, already being contributed to services including for libraries and transport.
But cash for the area comes at a price.
The site was originally supposed to provide affordable homes for local people, for generations to come, under special legal terms called discounted market sale. Then, only 12 homes were available on the open market.
Persimmon will now sell 57 homes on the open market, and while the remaining homes are deemed affordable, they will not be preserved for future generations in the same way that a discounted market sale scheme offered.