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Medical centre could be built as part of controversial homes plan

Developers hope to build up to 130 homes on land off Green Lane East in Rackheath. Photo: Google

Developers hope to build up to 130 homes on land off Green Lane East in Rackheath. Photo: Google

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A new medical centre could be built as part of a bid for 130 new homes in a rapidly expanding village near Norwich.

In September, London-based developer Halsbury Homes lodged a bid with Broadland District Council for permission to build up to 130 homes near Green Lane East in Rackheath.

Just off the Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR), the plans are for outline permission, securing the wider scheme, rather than the finer details.

Initially, "community space" had been set aside, but emails from the developers towards the end of October, published on the council's planning website, say it will be "safeguarded to provide a medical centre".

However, it is unclear at this stage who would be responsible for building the centre.

But concerns over flooding risk and rat-running has prompted concerns from those living nearby, and both Rackheath and Great and Little Plumstead Parish Councils.

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In its objection, Rackheath Parish Council said documents in the application referring to transport links were outdated.

"There are no active bus stops/routes outside development as indicated," they said. "Rackheath is still without a direct bus route to Norwich, meaning further development is not sustainable."

The council also said the development would be accessed by a single access road, which would cause rat running on other nearby areas.

Rackheath has been identified as an area for major growth - a Rackheath North Masterplan has said that up to 4,000 homes, three schools and a Second World War memorial garden could be built.

A scheme for 322 homes was approved in April, with other proposals of 205 and 157 homes already approved.

For the latest application, the Campaign to Protect Rural England said any benefits would be outweighed by the "harm of permitting this unplanned building in land designated as countryside".

One person who has family living opposite the development said recent poor weather had left so much water on the proposed development site that homes on Green Last East had flooded.

Another said the plan would cause "more traffic misery to the village of Rackheath with no benefit in return", while another said the negative effects would be "totally life changing".

We have contacted Halsbury Homes.

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