Developer wins appeal to build houses in village despite strong opposition
A housing developer has won an appeal to build more than 130 homes in a west Norfolk village - which many residents were heavily opposed to.
Developer Pegasus Group was given planning permission for 69 homes on land off Cheney Hill, Heacham, in 2016.
The firm then applied to build a further 63 properties, but was turned down by West Norfolk council.
Now it has won a planning appeal, meaning it can build a total of 133 houses on the site.
Independent borough councillor Terry Parish said more than 200 residents and the parish council objected to the application due to concerns about traffic, infrastructure and the number of proposed houses doubling.
In the report, the inspector said despite corners raised over the capacity of local health services, they did not see any evidence from the National Health Service commissioning group to demonstrate this.
The appeal report also stated that there was “no evidence to indicate that the overall cumulative scale of growth in the rural areas grossly exceeds the stated amount of development envisaged in the spatial strategy or that the proposed development could not be absorbed without great impact on the existing character and social make-up of the settlement”.
Mr Parish, who raised fears the houses could become popular with second home owners, said: “Well over 200 people who live in the locality opposed it, so it will not go down well.
“There is a need within Heacham for a certain number of houses but ones which are affordable but not in the government sense.”
The development will include affordable housing, open spaces and infrastructure improvements.
Gabrielle Rowan, from Pegasus Group’s Cambridge office, said: “The appeal focused on allowing almost twice the number of houses on the site than had been allocated in the adopted local plan.
“We were pleased that the inspector agreed with our points regarding sustainability, efficient use of land and highway safety and allowed the appeal.”
The Inspector added the proposed development would boost the supply of housing, including the provision of 20pc affordable housing, and said there would be economic benefits during construction.