Extra homes planned for major Holt site

Philip High, North Norfolk District Council member for Holt. Picture: NICHOLAS MANTHORPE

Philip High, North Norfolk District Council member for Holt. Picture: NICHOLAS MANTHORPE - Credit: Archant

Up to 35pc more homes than originally calculated could be built on a large Holt development site which is bigger than thought.

Planning officers now say a maximum of 270 homes could be allocated for the Heath Farm/Hempstead Road land, rather than 200.

The lower figure had been based on the understanding that the site, south of the A148, covered 15ha but it actually measured 18.5ha, according to John Williams, team leader for major developments with North Norfolk District Council (NNDC).

Members of NNDC's Planning Policy and built Heritage Working Party this morning heard details of a draft development brief for the site, known as H09, aimed at giving would-be developers guidance about what would be acceptable there.

H09 - the third largest allocation site in the district - has been earmarked for homes, employment and industrial use, and open space.

A new roundabout on the A148 would lead to an access road into the development, connecting with Hempstead Road. There was also a possibility of another access from Hempstead Road into a different area of housing but Mark Ashwell, planning policy manager, said there could be objections to it from highways chiefs.

An area of Norfolk County Council-owned land could provide a pedestrian and cycle link to the town, leading to the junction of the A148 and Hempstead Road and the existing underpass.

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Members voted to delay putting the brief out to public consultation until further talks had been held with the landowners to iron out problems.

The site is in six different ownerships which include Brown Brothers, Bullen Investment Ltd, and Hopkins Homes.

Hopkins homes was unhappy with elements of the scheme and did not consider it viable, according to Mr Ashwell.

Philip High, who represents Holt on NNDC, welcomed the progress which had been made on preparing the brief. He added: 'We're very keen to make a start on this.'