The future of one of the country's most deprived neighbourhoods is to be debated once again.

Plans have been afoot to revamp the Abbey Estate in Thetford for several years.

The project would see housing association, Flagship Housing Group, demolish and rebuild 540 homes while adding a further 490.

Thetford & Brandon Times: The plans could see hundreds of hoems torn down and rebuilt The plans could see hundreds of hoems torn down and rebuilt (Image: Archant)

Breckland Council had previously supported the scheme but cabinet members are set to reconsider its relationship with the development and debate signing a new Memorandum of Understanding with Flagship and Norfolk County Council.

Since 2019, Flagship has been pursuing the redevelopment of the area, which is estimated to cost £250m and would take more than 20 years to complete. 

It is hoped it could bring "meaningful change" to the estate, which is in the top 10pc of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country.

Thetford & Brandon Times: Breckland Council leader Sam Chapman-AllenBreckland Council leader Sam Chapman-Allen (Image: Breckland Council)

Breckland Council agreed to support the development in 2019, with leader Sam Chapman-Allen claiming it will have a "fundamental impact" on the lives of those who live there - "for the better."

But the controversial scheme has faced growing criticism. 

READ MORE: 500 homes on Thetford's Abbey estate set to be torn down

Following the local elections in May this year, leader of the Labour opposition group Terry Jermy called on the Conservative-run Breckland Council to request it suspend support for the scheme.

Thetford & Brandon Times: Terry Jermy, leader of Breckland Council's Labour opposition groupTerry Jermy, leader of Breckland Council's Labour opposition group (Image: Submitted)

In a statement, it was claimed locals had made it clear they were unhappy with the plans, which would see hundreds of households forced out of their homes "against their wishes".

Mr Jermy added: "The Abbey Estate deserves much-needed investment, but these proposals are wrong and not welcome."

It is expected that the full planning application for the project will be delivered within the next three months.

If councillors agree to the Memorandum of Understanding, it will offer a public declaration of support for what is considered to be the largest estate regeneration programme ever undertaken in Breckland.

Cabinet members will meet to discuss the revamp on Monday, October 16.