Fight begins to keep Heacham a village

The Eastern Daily Press is backing the Keep Heacham a Village Campaign. Picture: Ian Burt

The Eastern Daily Press is backing the Keep Heacham a Village Campaign. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

The message was clear from residents as more than one hundred turned out to help launch the EDP's Fighting for Heacham campaign.

The campaign has been launched to fight against the proposals for 200 new homes on the outskirts of the village which locals fear could lead to it becoming a town.

Housing association Broadland Housing has made an application for the homes as well as a care home, pub and leisure facilities on the land off the A149.

Despite more than 300 villagers voicing their opposition to the scheme at a public meeting in April, Broadland have continued to stand firm with their plans.

Adrian Hood, 62, from Woodside Avenue, said: 'This is against democracy in that the local councillors and people are opposed to it.

'I'm personally convinced that School Road is an accident waiting to happen. I have long believed that there will be an accident there even before the developer was considering a proposal.'

Another resident, Susan Lamb, 58, of Cheney Hill, believes that the village's infrastructure will be unable to cope with the proposed increase in size.

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'With the amount of residents who live here the facilities are close to capacity as it is,' she said. 'With the influx of visitors in the summer the facilities won't be able to cope with the increase in residents.'

New parish council chairman Peter Colvin has reiterated the council's opposition of the plans.

'We are positive that the proposals are still too large and out of keeping with the villages character,' he said.

'We don't want a new Heacham built on the outskirts of old Heacham.

'Relying on a single access point from the A149 is madness and it is likely that there will be more issues with sewage, as the facilities are already over capacity.

'The council as a whole is not opposed to development, we know these things have to happen, but we don't want a massive thing tacked onto the edge of our village.'

The original scheme proposed by Broadland was for 355 houses but this has been reduced after the initial outrage of residents.

However, Broadland executive director Andrew Savage has said that the proposal would not be viable if cut any further as market housing is required to cover the costs of housing with care.

Members of the parish council will be at Old Friends Hall, Sunnyside, from 10am to 6pm today to display the plans and answer questions.