Housing on former RAF base could be approved despite ‘severe’ concerns over safety and location
PUBLISHED: 18:00 18 April 2018
Plans to build nearly 100 homes on a former RAF base near Fakenham have been recommended for approval by a council planning officer, despite serious safety and policy concerns.
The application for development at the former RAF West Raynham site was submitted by FW Properties Ltd and will be heard on April 19 at North Norfolk District Council’s planning committee.
Planning officer Jo-Anne Rasmussen has recommended that it is given conditional approval despite only nine letters of support and 62 in objection, including the Highways Authority, which describes the potential impact of the development as “severe”.
She also notes that the proposal represents a clear departure from Development Plan policy as it seeks permission for properties in a countryside location where they would normally not be permitted.
In the recommendation, she writes that considerable consideration should be given to the objections and the application presents challenges which may not be possible to overcome without “some degree of discretion in the relaxation of policy”.
But she notes this development could provide a catalyst for vital employment and housing growth in the area. However, in the letter of objection sent by the Highways Authority, they state: “It remains the view of the Highway Authority that due to the substandard highway network RAF West Raynham is not an acceptable location for new estate scale residential development.
“It is our view that new development should be limited to the re-use of the existing buildings and that the previous traffic generated from this site would be absorbed by any reuse or re-development of the existing buildings.” They add: “The impact of the development is deemed severe from a highways and transport perspective as the type and scale of the proposal would unacceptably increase risk to all road users, particularly those most vulnerable.”
Helhoughton Parish Council has also objected, saying they are “dismayed” by the fact that there appears to be no consideration over the impact of increased traffic in the area. East Rudham Parish Council said that development is good in theory but has completely ignored the local communities’ needs.