A school’s controversial "noisy" heat pumps are still being used despite a council ordering them to be switched off.

People in Reepham are saying the heating equipment at the town’s high school is on, as students return following the half-term break.

This is despite the school being told last week by Broadland District Council to shut down the pumps.

A spokesman for Broadland Council said: “The council has been made aware that the pumps are operating and will be considering what, if any enforcement action to take.

"The council takes all breaches of planning seriously and will be working with the school and neighbours to consider what options are available.”

Dereham Times: Broadland District Council requested the school to switch off the heat pumpsBroadland District Council requested the school to switch off the heat pumps (Image: Archant)

The school installed the eco-friendly devices in 2022 without planning permission, much to the annoyance of those living nearby.

The controversy has seen local MP Jerome Mayhew called in and has made national newspaper headlines.

The devices were installed on land off Whitwell Road, just metres from the nearest neighbours who claim they are unable to open their windows or use their gardens without being disturbed.

Mark Bridges, who lives nearby, said: “Us neighbours continue to be disappointed by the applicant and agents on following the clear instruction from Broadland's planning team to turn these units off.

“The school was on half term last week and this was the ideal time to do the right thing for the taxpaying neighbour and install alternate heating.


“It shouldn’t be necessary to consider the children are at risk of not having a proper facility as alternate heating is feasible for both the immediate short and long term.”

The high school and Synergy Multi Academy Trust, which runs the school, have been approached for a comment.

The electrically-powered devices work by absorbing heat from the air.

They are said to be more efficient than gas boilers and can be powered by renewable resources, rather than relying on fossil fuels, and are seen as a key measure to help the UK meet its net-zero targets.