New 279 home development in Dereham gets the go-ahead

Councillor Alison Webb spoke against the plans for 279 new homes in Dereham. Picture: Archant

Councillor Alison Webb spoke against the plans for 279 new homes in Dereham. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Breckland Council has approved plans to build 279 new homes in Dereham despite fierce opposition from residents, groups and councillors.

The approval of the application submitted by Orbit Homes will see the properties built on land at Greenfields Road.

The application had been deferred in December in order to relocate the proposed multi-use games area, with the plans previously being turned down due to concerns over a lack of space set aside for sport and recreational activity.

Councillor Alison Webb spoke against the plans at the meeting on Monday.

She said after the meeting: 'I'm not opposed to homes being built as I know we need more but the affordable homes are lacking in space according to the National Standard. I'm very concerned about the impact on families, especially children living in cramped conditions.

'There isn't enough green space on the site. The council will invest in green spaces in the town but there should be sufficient space for the residents to use and they can't if some of the space is far away.'

Case officer Debi Sherman recommended approval on the basis that the development would make a significant contribution towards the supply of housing, including affordable housing, and that there is no substantive evidence to suggest that the proposal would have a significant adverse effect on local infrastructure.

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This is despite opposition from local residents and groups, with over 50 letters of objection to the development being submitted due to concerns over a lack of a sports area and green spaces, too many houses and traffic congestion.

Dereham Town Council too expressed concerns over sports pitches, with the report stating: 'The central and western open areas for sport appear to be too small to contain any recognised sports pitches.'

Concerns were also expressed by the housing enabling officer over affordable homes. The report states: 'The main concern continues to be that the affordable units are well below the Nationally Described Space Standard.'

Orbit Homes has agreed to meet a 23% shortfall in outdoor sports provision via an off site financial contribution to Breckland Council and it has been agreed that the development will include 71 affordable homes.

An application for 255 new homes on Yaxham Road was also deferred by Breckland Council in the meeting.

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