Two major housing developments being built in Norfolk towns have been beset by months of problems caused by "extremely poor weather conditions".

A report to West Norfolk Council (WNC) has revealed the challenges faced at the Florence Fields site in Gaywood, near King's Lynn, and the Southend Road scheme in Hunstanton.

The weather has threatened to delay progress at the sites that aim to deliver more than 250 properties, including several affordable homes and private rental properties.

Eastern Daily Press: Storm Babet delayed work on the roofs of the new properties at HunstantonStorm Babet delayed work on the roofs of the new properties at Hunstanton (Image: Chris Bishop)

Both are backed by West Norfolk Council funding and are being built by Lovell Homes. 

Florence Fields, which became waterlogged following Storm Babet in October last year and continues to endure problems, has faced additional issues due to a collapsed Network Rail culvert, which has disrupted the flow of surface water.

Network Rail has said the culvert issue has recently been resolved.

Alistair Beales, cabinet member for business, told the council in a report that while the first bricks have been laid,  ground conditions and extremely poor weather continue to "challenge progress" and he warned a long-term resolution is needed to be found in the coming weeks to avoid delays.

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Eastern Daily Press: Councillor Alistair Beales, cabinet member for businessCouncillor Alistair Beales, cabinet member for business (Image: KLWNBC)

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The scheme has also faced rising costs and required WNC to increase its budget from £48.3m to £54.4m.

Flooding concerns had threatened to derail the project entirely, with the Environment Agency (EA) opposing it at the initial planning stage along with several locals also raising fears it could be at a high risk of flooding. The site is within the EA level 3 flood zone area.

However, improved flood mitigation measures were subsequently agreed to protect the site. 

Building work is in its final stages at Southend Road in Hunstanton. However, Mr Beales has described it as a "complex and challenging build" weather has limited progress, with high winds hampering the installation of roofs at the start of the year although it is now near completion. 

The development is now expected to be completed by the late summer. 

Michael Saunders, operations manager at Lovell, and James Grant, project manager at West Norfolk Council have said in a joint statement: “Both autumn and winter were exceptionally wet with record levels of rainfall in West Norfolk.

"The weather created very challenging ground conditions, which inevitably caused some delays at both Southend Road and Florence Fields.

"However, our positive and proactive approach to managing water on the sites meant we were still able to carry on operating and we continue to work in partnership to make progress on the developments.”

A Network Rail spokesman has said: “We’re aware of the Council’s concerns about the condition of this culvert. In December, following a complaint we’d received from them it was inspected and rodded out, after which it was confirmed there were no blockages and the water was free flowing.”