West Norfolk affordable homes proposals refused

PUBLISHED: 06:58 04 February 2014

The proposed site for new homes beside the A149 at Old Hunstanton. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The proposed site for new homes beside the A149 at Old Hunstanton. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2014,

Proposals for new affordable housing in both Heacham and Old Hunstanton were turned down by West Norfolk councillors yesterday – despite an impassioned plea by one of the planning committee members.

Hastoe Housing Association’s application to build 15 affordable homes on land next to the A149 Cromer Road, south of the Coach House, in Old Hunstanton, was refused by nine votes to eight.

And a proposal for outline permission for 70 new homes, including at least 20pc affordable housing, 60 housing-with-care homes, and a 60-bed care home on land west of the A149 Lynn Road in Heacham was unanimously refused at the same meeting.

Councillors were told that Hastoe’s plans would help meet affordable housing need in Old Hunstanton and adjoining parishes, in which there are currently 33 households on the council’s housing register.

But Old Hunstanton Parish Council objected to the application and councillors were told plans would reduce the physical gap between Hunstanton and Old Hunstanton.

The decision to turn it down came despite councillor Martin Storey imploring his colleagues to approve it. He said: “This is an opportunity to help more than 30 families on the housing list and we have a site available to meet that need in the area... This is an opportunity for this area to stand up and be counted, to back what we say and help people in the area. I’m in a mind to put people before profit and actions before words.”

However, Andrew Morrison said he was worried the site was encroaching on greenbelt land.

Councillors were told that if they approved the scheme, which was opposite the golf course, there should be an agreement to ensure the housing remained affordable with priority given to residents.

But it was rejected on the grounds that the harm would outweigh benefits and that the gap between Old Hunstanton and Hunstanton needed to be maintained.

Meanwhile, officers had recommended councillors refuse Broadland Housing Association and Townsfolk Ltd’s application for outline permission in Heacham as it represented a significant incursion into open countryside. Avril Wright said the proposal would mean the village “sprawling” into Snettisham. She said: “The A149 is a nightmare as soon as it gets to holiday time and this would put enormous strain on the NHS and the doctor’s surgery.”

The meeting was packed with Heacham residents opposed to the plans who celebrated when the decision was made. The council received more than 220 letters of objection to the plans and five letters of support.

Do you think planners were right? Write to (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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