December 13 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Developers Broadland Housing and Townsfolk have applied to build 200 homes, a care home and pub on land beside the A149 at Heacham.
They say the proposal, which replaced a larger scheme that was met with a storm of opposition, will help meet the future needs of the village.
But a report to councillors on West Norfolk’s planning committee, who meet to discuss the scheme on Monday, recommends refusal.
It says “the village does not have adequate services to support the proposed development”, which “represents a significant incursion into open countryside”.
The document says that the development is “clearly contrary” to its development plan setting out which sites should be built on.
Recommending refusal, it raises concerns a new junction off the A149, proposed as part of the development, would cause traffic problems.
Heacham Parish Council secretary Philippa Sewell said: “I have to say I’m not surprised, we got the feeling from the very beginning that the council officers weren’t that happy with the application.
“We’ve still got to go and make our case but hopefully they’ll feel they can’t possibly accept it.
“The developers have said they’ll go to appeal and personally, I feel that’s where the real fight will be.”
Broadland Housing would not be drawn on whether it would appeal if the council went against it.
“The application is going through the normal planning process and we can’t make any comment at all until Monday,” a spokesman added.
More than 300 people packed a public meeting after plans for the development were first revealed by the EDP in April. West Norfolk council received one letter in support and 441 objecting to the original scheme, while a further 252 objections were received after the scheme was scaled down from 350 to 200 homes.
Monday’s meeting is being held at King’s Lynn Town Hall. Mrs Sewell said: “We are encouraging residents who have objected to come along. A lot of people think it is a foregone conclusion which is not the case at all.”
In its planning statement, Broadland Housing said the development, which included a care home, would help address Heacham’s future needs. It said there was a “specific need” for an extra 50 care home places in the area.
The EDP-backed villagers’ campaign was supported by North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, parish and district councillors, and Hunstanton Town Council.
Mr Bellingham said that the number of houses proposed for Heacham was “staggering”.