March 10 2014 Latest news:
Friday, December 13, 2013
A proposal for 220 new homes in Dereham has been recommended for approval after planning officers accepted the project would only be viable if its proportion of affordable housing was reduced.
The outline application from Robin Green for the plot of agricultural land, between the A47 and Greenfields Road, was originally discussed by Breckland Council’s planning committee in October 2011.
At that point, the decision was deferred, subject to the “satisfactory conclusion of discussions with the Highway Authority”.
In the meantime, the plot has been incorporated within Dereham’s agreed settlement boundary and allocated for housing, following the formal adoption of the district’s Site Specific Policies.
And a report to the committee says officers have now also been made aware that the development would not be financially viable unless Breckland’s 40pc target for affordable housing was reduced to 15pc – a conclusion outlined in a viability appraisal submitted by the applicant.
The officer’s report says “Consequently, the appraisal has been assessed and verified by the District Valuer who has confirmed that the conclusions are correct.
“It is considered that the revised affordable housing contribution is acceptable in this instance and the planning committee is invited again to approve the application subject to the finalisation of the associated S106 legal agreement and relevant conditions.”
The committee is due to discuss the application again on Monday.
Although the original proposals brought no objections from environment officers, county highways officers said they had “no objection in principle”, as long as issues were resolved relating to travel plans, road junction amendments and the possible introduction of traffic control systems.
Before the initial committee meeting, Dereham Town Council raised concerns including whether the link road from Wheatcroft Way would be a through-road for all traffic or for emergency vehicles only, and whether traffic calming measures would be needed to prevent speeding.
Other public representations raised issues surrounding the loss of farm land, concerns at increased traffic, noise and pollution, and questions over whether sufficient drainage was available.