Plans for 250 new homes in Downham Market set for approval

PUBLISHED: 09:28 27 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:31 27 December 2017

The site off Nightingale Road, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

The site off Nightingale Road, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

Controversial plans for 250 new homes on the outskirts of Downham Market look set to get the go-ahead.

Permission was granted for 170 new properties on a 14ha site off Nightingale Lane, near the A1122, in October 2016.

Developers the Grosvenor Partnership then applied to increase the number of homes to 300, but council papers say planning permission was refused on grounds of “inappropriate density, localised highway issues and inappropriate siting of roundabout and unsustainable development”.

MORE - packed public meeting over plans for 300 homes

Grosvenor has now scaled the number down to 250 homes in its application for outline planning permission. Downham town council says without additional infrastructure for water, sewage, electricity and increased traffic, the development is not sustainable.

There have also been more than 50 letters of objection on grounds including the impact it would have on nurseries, schools and doctors’ surgeries.

One resident says many new homes which have already been built in the town remain empty. Others say there are limited jobs locally.

But a report to councillors says the land is already earmarked for development, adding: “It is considered that the site can

accommodate (subject to design and appropriate layout) up to 250 dwellings without material harm to the visual amenity of the locality or neighbour amenity.”

The report says the development includes open space with “a strong green infrastructure network, and new linkages to the town”.

It adds: “It is considered that the proposed layout responds sympathetically to the character of the landscape and urban surroundings and has been designed to retain landscape features and strengthen key characteristics of the surrounding area, whilst minimising visual intrusion.

“The scheme respects the adjacent urban grain and street pattern. It provides a range of dwelling sizes, types and tenures offering a choice of lifestyles, with properties arranged around feature spaces throughout.”

West Norfolk council’s planning committee is being recommended to agree outline planning permission when it meets on Monday, January 8 (9.30am) at King’s Court in King’s Lynn.

So-called reserved matters - including the type of homes and layout of the development - must be agreed before work can begin.

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