Residents reject Norfolk village homes plan
20:22 11 September 2012
Villagers voted overwhelmingly against a Norfolk parish council creating its own village development plan at a packed public meeting on Monday.
Instead, the vast majority of the 115 Bunwell residents at the village hall backed a South Norfolk Council plan, which has earmarked their village for between 15 and 20 homes as part of the planned 37,000 new homes to be built in the Norwich area for the Greater Norwich Development Partnership joint core strategy.
The motion for the parish to draw up its own plan was opposed by 102 parishioners with 11 in favour after fears were expressed over the village council’s proposal for at least 80 new homes, with many concentrated on a site in The Turnpike.
Phil Gledhill, who lives at The Turnpike, said the villagers supported a South Norfolk plan because they wanted smaller, rather than larger developments which would be located within Bunwell’s development boundaries.
The meeting of parish councillors and residents heard from Tim Horspole, planning and housing policy manager at the district council, who explained the process for drawing up the plans and what South Norfolk’s plans were for the village, as well as more about the joint core strategy to build homes in the Norwich area by 2026.
Mr Geldhill said many villagers felt more reassured by South Norfolk Council’s expertise on planning matters and reassured that they were being better informed as part of the planning process, having previously been concerned the parish council had failed to tell them about potential developments and meetings within the village.
He added: “We felt that we did not want to become involved in the creation of a village plan because that would be expensive and extremely time consuming.”
Mr Gledhill, who lives with his wife Lorna, said he had heard about possible plans to build up to 150 homes on the Turnpike site, adding a development of that size could potentially damage the quiet rural setting.
“Living in an agricultural area, we don’t want a new town on the edge of Bunwell and I think as residents we want to preserve the village,” he added.
However, he was more in favour of South Norfolk’s proposal for eight homes in Bunwell street and seven at the Turnpike.