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Plans for 300 new homes on outskirts of Downham Market get thumbs down at packed meeting

PUBLISHED: 20:03 07 February 2017 | UPDATED: 22:05 07 February 2017

The public meeting over plans for 300 homes in Downham Market. Picture: Chris Bishop

The public meeting over plans for 300 homes in Downham Market. Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

Residents packed a public meeting before councillors voted to oppose proposals for hundreds of new homes.

The site off Nightingale Road, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt The site off Nightingale Road, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

Developers were given planning permission for 170 new homes on land off the A1122, on the south-eastern outskirts of Downham Market, two years ago.

Now the Isle of Man-based Grosvenor Partnership has applied for permission to build a further 130, saying the increase is “achievable” on the site.

But opponents fear the town’s schools, doctors and dentist’s surgeries could not cope with the extra people the homes would bring with them.

Tonight Downham town council’s planning committee voted to recommend refusal for the increase. West Norfolk council, which will have the final say, must consult the town council but does not have to follow its recommendation. The thumbs down came after a public meeting at Downham Town Hall attended by more than 100 people.

Planning permission has been put in for up to 300 dwellings on land at Nightingale Road, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt Planning permission has been put in for up to 300 dwellings on land at Nightingale Road, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

Residents of nearby Ryston End said the narrow lanes around their village could not cope with the extra traffic.

Denver resident John Redcar said: “We have concerns in Denver, because it will have an effect on us as well as Downham Market.”

He added the primary school in Denver was already full and asked where any extra children would go.

Nigel Brunn said the sewage system in Downham was already overloaded and would not cope with extra demand. Ron Horne said developers should contribute to the infrastructure of the town.

One Denver resident said the junction on the A10 at nearby Denver was already “a nightmare”.

She said proposals for a roundabout included in the development would not improve things, adding: “I believe it would be a danger.”

Another woman said she already had to wait a month for a doctor’s appointment. There were also questions about possible archaeological significance of the site and whether even more houses could be added.

After a 40-minute public session, town councillors discussed the plans. They voted unanimously to oppose the scheme, to applause from the audience.

Even if West Norfolk turns down the extra homes when it decides the application later this year, planning permission for the original 170 still stands.

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