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Summary

  1. Updates on Monday, 25 April 2016
  2. Breckland councillors reject plans for nearly 200 homes in Watton
  3. Plans for 1,000 new homes in Hellesdon are due to be discussed by Broadland councillors later this week
  4. Work to crematoria in Norwich means delays of up to five weeks for funerals
  5. Norwich City drop into the relegation zone after Sunderland draw 0-0 with Arsenal
  6. Updates resume at 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

By Caroline Kingdon

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's all from the Norfolk Live team today, but we'll be back at 08:00 tomorrow.

We love to involve you in our coverage, so if you have a story or a photograph that you'd like to share with us, please send us an email or a tweet, or get in touch on Facebook.

Weather: Windy with wintry showers

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

A windy night, with coastal gales. Showers of rain, sleet or hail, and possibly snow inland.

Minimum temperature: 1C (34F).

Weather chart for 16:00 Tuesday, showing rain and sleet patches over Norfolk
BBC Weather

A chilly start to Tuesday with a few sleet and snow flurries, followed by a mixture of sunny spells and scattered showers. A risk of hail, sleet and thunder.

Maximum temperature: 8C (46F). BBC Weather has more details for you.

Watch: Supercomputer helps Norwich scientists

One of the biggest supercomputers in the world is in action round the clock helping scientists in Norwich to decode the secrets of DNA.

It’s based at the Genome Analysis Centre, on the Norwich Research Park, where world-leading research is taking place every day.  

Crime scene drama for Taverham man

Just Regional

Who doesn’t like a good crime drama – getting caught up in the thrill of the chase and the complexity of the investigation?

It’s something that Steve Gaskin got first-hand experience of again recently, when he was asked by BBC One’s Silent Witness to be a forensic science adviser during filming for the next series.  

Steve Gaskin with "crime scene" tapes
Just Regional

Watch: Hospital introduces test for heart defects in babies

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital was one of the first in the country to take part in a pilot scheme to test babies for congenital heart defects.

The screening will show any defects not detected during pregnancy by routine ultrasound scans and newborn examinations.

The test will now be rolled out across the country.  

Gym says 'third party' sent out expletive-laden email

Charlie Jones

BBC Local Live

A gym that apologised after members received an expletive-laden email said the message had been sent by a third party.

Members of The Gym in Little London Street, Norwich, received a screen grab showing an angry text message exchange between two people having an argument, instead of details of about its open week.

screen grab of The Gym apology
Facebook

A company spokeswoman said the email was "handled through a third party so it did not relate to the actions of a Gym Group employee" but declined to reveal the name of the third party. 

Watch: Gallery hosts Swiss sculptor exhibition

A major new exhibition opens at the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich this week, looking at the life and work of the Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti.

It's 50 years since he died, and his work is considered among the finest of the 20th Century.

One of his figures, "Man Pointing" sold for a world record sum of $141m (£94m) last year.  

Rescued ferrets looking for new homes after owner sent to jail

An animal sanctuary near Hingham has come to the rescue of 14 ferrets which were locked inside a flat after their owner was sent to prison.

A ferret in a cage, with a man holding another ferret
BBC

The PACT animal sanctuary saved the creatures after a desperate 22-hour battle to legally gain access to the property in Norwich. No food or water had been left for them, but PACT spokesman George Rockingham said they were not in "too bad a condition."  

He said the friendly ferrets were now ready to go to new homes.  

The headlines: Councillors turn down plans for 200 homes... Gym apologises for expletive-laden email

The stories in the news today:

  • Breckland councillors have turned down plans for 200 homes in Watton
  • A Norwich gym has apologised after sending an expletive-laden email to members
  • A test to detect congenital heart defects in newborn babies is being offered at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
  • Canaries drop into the relegation zone

Roads closed for bridge repairs

Tim Addicott

BBC Radio Norfolk

Norfolk County Council says it has closed roads into a Harleston for emergency bridge repairs following a crash.

A view of the bridge on Station Hill
Google

Station Hill, Dicky Hill and Gawdy Lane have been shut after a car hit the brick wall of the bridge spanning the River Waveney. Scaffolding has to be designed and constructed before repairs can begin.

The bridge and adjoining roads are not wide enough to allow vehicles to pass safely in the mean time. A diversion is in place, with works expected to be completed before the end of May.

Disabled support group says 'government is passing the buck' over payments

Campaigners say the government is passing the buck by not reviewing whether Norfolk County Council is breaking the law over adult social care.

County Hall in Norwich
BBC

Equal Lives has been calling on the Department of Health (DoH) to get regulators to look into whether changes to payments for older and disabled people go against government rules, but a letter from the DoH says it is not asking for inspectors to get involved as councils are best placed to make decisions about local services.   

...my feeling is that the last thing the government wants is an independent investigation that says there's not enough money in the system."

Mark HarrisonEqual Lives

Boy awarded damages over mother's unnecessary death

A Norfolk boy has won £300,000 damages after his mother's unnecessary death from a "common illness".

The High Court was told that the woman, who was still in her teens, became ill with a cough, sore throat and loss of appetite. Her mother called an out-of-hours medical service, run by Care UK, but the advice received by a nurse was "negligent".

The boy's mother died three days later after her condition developed into pneumonia. Her son, who was under a year old, had to be brought up by his grandparents. Care UK admitted liability for the woman's death, agreeing to pay damages to the boy who is still aged under 10.

Gym 'so sorry' after members receive expletive-laden email

Charlie Jones

BBC Local Live

A Norwich gym has apologised after sending an sending an expletive-laden email to members.

Instead of sending out details of its open week, The Gym in Little London Street, part of a national chain, distributed a series of angry text messages (below) between two people having an argument.

In a subsequent message, the firm said: "We're so sorry! You may have received an email with some disturbing content. Our image files have been corrupted so please disregard and delete this email immediately!"

email sent out to gym members
The Gym

It may be April... but the gritters will be out tonight

With the chance of wintry showers tonight, Norfolk County Council will be sending its gritters out: 

View more on twitter

Weather: Cloudy with frequent showers

It feels like spring has disappeared, with very little sunshine this morning - thank you to BBC Weather Watcher "Tavy" for brightening our day with this picture of yellow tulips in west Norfolk. 

A field of yellow tulips, with a church behind
BBC Weather Watchers/Tavy

This rest of the afternoon will remain cloudy with frequent showers, turning wintry overnight.  

BBC Weather has further information for you. 

Straw bale stack targeted by arsonists

A stack of straw bales weighing about 450 tonnes and worth £20,000 has been deliberately set on fire.

The incident happened at Watton Airfield on shortly before 20:00 last night. Fire crews from Watton and Hingham attended the blaze, with further crews keeping a watching brief throughout the night.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the arson attack to contact them.

Watch: Map guides visitors around burial grounds

There are more than 40 acres (16 hectares) of cemeteries in Great Yarmouth, with tombstones marking the burial places of the great and the good.

Now a map has been produced to guide visitors around the graveyards, as part of the town's heritage trail.

Many of the tombstones date back centuries, providing a social history of the area during Victorian and Edwardian times.    

The headlines: Councillors turn down Watton housing plan... Crematoria work leads to delayed funerals

BBC Radio Norfolk

The stories in the news this lunchtime:

  • Breckland councillors turn down plans for nearly 200 homes in Watton
  • The company that operates the Norwich crematoria at St Faiths and Earlham has apologised after maintenance work led to families waiting up to five weeks for a funeral
  • Norwich City are back in the relegation zone following Sunderland's 0-0 draw with Arsenal

Blind man 'ordered off bus' over outdated pass

Norfolk County Council says blind and partially-sighted people who have not had a new bus pass since January need to get in touch.

The Eastern Daily Press has reported that a man was unable to get on a bus in Norwich because his pass was not the latest version. The council says it reissued new concessionary cards earlier this year because there were problems with the previous ones.

First Bus says it is looking into why the man was not allowed to travel, and that it would have expected the driver to help him resolve the problem.

Biogas power plant plans withdrawn

Janet Harnden

BBC Radio Norfolk

Plans for a biogas power plant in south Norfolk have been withdrawn.

The scheme, to convert local maize, beet and vegetable matter into energy and fertiliser at a site in Snetterton, had the backing of planning officers, who recommended its approval.

But when Breckland councillors met this morning they were told the plans had been formally withdrawn, for reasons which are not yet clear.

Watch: Congregation sets target for synagogue revamp

The only synagogue in Norfolk and Suffolk was consecrated nearly half a century ago and is visited by thousands of people every year.

But now the building, on Earlham Road in Norwich, is in need of renovation. 

The Norwich Hebrew Congregation has set a fundraising target of £400,000 for essential refurbishment to modernise its communal hall.  

Funeral company apologises for delays

Paul Moseley

BBC Radio Norfolk

The company that operates Norwich's crematoria says it's sorry that some families are having to wait weeks for a funeral. 

Entrance to St Faiths Crematorium
Google

Dignity says the delays are due to maintenance work. Three of its cremators at St Faiths are being replaced, and one is currently out of use.  Another, at Earlham, was unexpectedly taken out of service and needs to be repaired.

Some families are having to wait five weeks before they can hold the funeral of a loved one. The usual wait is between two and three weeks.  

Housing: Councillors to vote on golf club development

Councillors in Breckland may have rejected plans for nearly 200 new homes in Watton this morning, but the future of a planned development of 1,000 new homes at the Royal Norwich Golf Club at Hellesdon, near Norwich, has still to be decided.

The entrance to the Royal Norwich Golf Club
Google

Hellesdon Parish Council chairman Shelagh Gurney says she accepts that houses will be built there but that 1,000 is too many and will have a serious impact on the A1067 Drayton High Road. She is also concerned that the development does not include formal recreational space.

Martin Davidson, spokesman for Persimmon Homes, the developer behind the plans, said it was an outline application, with the principles of the development to be established. Broadland councillors are to vote on the plans this Wednesday.

Housing: Councillors decide against Watton plans

Janet Harnden

BBC Radio Norfolk

A planned development of nearly 200 homes for Watton has been turned down.

A stone curlew
BBC

At a meeting this morning, Breckland councillors were told there were 240 objections to plans to build on the site near Mallard Road. The site, which comprises three open fields, is a stone curlew protection zone.  

Planning officers recommended it should go ahead, but when it came to a vote councillors decided against it.

BreakingHousing: Watton plans turned down

A planned development of nearly 200 homes in Watton has been turned down by Breckland councillors. More to follow.

King's Lynn striker: 'If I stay I'll get 20 goals next season, easy'

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

King's Lynn Town forward John Sands has assured fans that he's likely to remain at The Walks next season.

Sands scored twice as The Linnets ended their season with a 2-1 home win over Stratford Town on Saturday, taking his tally to six in 10 games since joining the club.

If I stay here I'll get 20 goals next season, easy - I'm confident about that

John SandsKing's Lynn Town striker

The striker, who even has @scoresforfun as his Twitter handle, will discuss his future with Lynn over the summer. 

Smith's stunner eases drop fears

Eastern Daily Press

The back page of today's Eastern Daily Press:

The back page of today's EDP
Archant

Wroxham face anxious wait over relegation

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Wroxham will need a summer reprieve if they are to stay in the Ryman League after a bottom-three finish was confirmed at the weekend. 

The Yachtsmen could only draw 0-0 at Romford in their final match. Jack Garrod missed a second-half penalty. 

Wroxham dugout
BBC

Wroxham could be saved from demotion by the annual summer shake-up of the Non-League pyramid, once all the promotion and relegation issues are confirmed, but for now they must contemplate a return to the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League. 

Newborn babies to be screened for congenital heart defects

A new test to detect congenital heart defects in newborn babies is now being offered at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

A baby with a monitor on its hand
BBC

The pulse oximetry screening (POS) is a non-invasive test where a light sensor is placed on a baby's right hand and one foot to measure the amount of oxygen in their blood. It can help in the early detection of babies with serious heart disease, so they can be treated sooner.

The Norwich hospital was one of the first in the country to pilot the scheme, which will now be rolled out across the UK.

Housing: Watton 'creaking under pressure of development'

A campaign group against plans for new housing in Watton says there is not the infrastructure to support the homes.  

Construction worker building a house wall
Getty Images

Keith Gilbert, of What Watton Wants, says the development off Mallard Road is "unwanted and unsustainable... the town is creaking under the pressure".  The area is a stone curlew buffer zone, a species which has seen a decline in population.  

Tesni Homes, which is behind the plans, says its ecologists and designers work closely "with statutory consultees to make sure any development is sensitive to the environment and its natural habitat". Breckland councillors are to make a decision on the application today.

Possible snow showers overnight

Our weather forecaster Dan Holley warns of snow falling overnight: 

View more on twitter

Don't forget to send us your pictures, if you capture some shots of snowy scenes in Norfolk. 

Norfolk start with thrilling final-ball win

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Norfolk's cricket team won their first match of the season, beating Cambridgeshire in the Unicorns One-Day Trophy off the very last ball. 

Norfolk scored 194 for nine from their 50 overs but, crucially, were given 12 extra penalty runs because of Cambridgeshire's slow over rate. 

View more on twitter

Garry Park caught and bowled David Sayer off the final ball to leave the hosts 202 all out, five runs short of their target. 

Crematoria work delays funerals

Bereaved families are facing delays before they can hold the funerals of loved ones because of hold-ups at two Norwich crematoria, according to a funeral director.

White roses on a hearse
Getty Images

Work to upgrade cremators at Earlham and St Faiths is taking place simultaneously. Paul Allcock, from the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors, says this has led to delays of up to five weeks with some people opting to have funerals elsewhere in the county.

The owner of the crematoria, Dignity, says waits are around three weeks, with work scheduled to end in May or June.

Housing plans to be discussed by councillors

Plans for more than 1,300 new homes could be approved in Norfolk this week.

Almost 180 houses for Watton could be given the go-ahead by councillors today. The plans have caused controversy, as the proposed site off Mallard Road is a stone curlew buffer zone.

Stone curlew near nest and eggs
RSPB Images

Persimmon Homes is behind plans for 1,000 houses on the site of the Royal Norwich Golf Club, in Hellesdon. In the west of the county, concerns have been raised that 130 new homes in Docking could be sold as second homes, priced out of the reach of local people.  

Canaries drop into relegation zone

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Norwich City are back in the Premier League relegation zone following Sunderland's 0-0 draw with Arsenal. 

The two sides are level on 31 points from 34 games but Sunderland's goal difference is seven better than The Canaries', helped by their 3-0 win at Carrow Road nine days ago.

Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal vies with Fabio Borini of Sunderland during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Arsenal at The Stadium of Light on April 24, 2016
Getty Images

Norwich City play Arsenal away from home in their next game on Saturday.

Weather: Windy, with wintry showers

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

Isolated showers this morning, turning to hail and sleet later. Feeling cold, with a maximum temperature of 10C (50F).

Gales developing along the coast overnight. Further showers of rain, sleet or hail, but possibly falling as snow inland.

Minimum temperature: 1C (34F). BBC Weather has more details for you. 

The headlines: Councillors discuss housing plans... Families face funeral delays

The stories in the news this morning:

  • Councillors are to discuss plans for housing in Watton and Hellesdon this week
  • Work to crematoria in Norwich means delays of up to five weeks for funerals
  • A test to detect congenital heart defects in newborn babies is to be rolled out across the UK after being piloted at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital