Framingham Earl 100 homes approved before development plan drawn up

A major 100 home development on the outskirts of a Norfolk village has been given the go ahead even though a development plan pinpointing potential housing sites has not yet been drawn up.

South Norfolk Council's development management committee yesterday approved Hibbett and Key's outline application to build the homes on a 4.7 hectare section of land at Pigot Lane in Framingham Earl despite receiving a 600 signature petition opposing the plans and 68 objection letters from villagers.

However, the meeting heard from Judith Sykes, representing the village parish council, who said she feared the plans were premature when the local development framework of possible sites had not yet been drawn up for the village and she said the plans only took into account part of the site when substantially more land was being earmarked for mixed use development.

Her other concerns were the development would cross the parish boundary with neighbouring Framingham Pigot and the increased traffic generated by the site could increase the risk of accidents at a nearby junction between Long Lane and Pigot Lane.

Objector Mike Lucas told the meeting approving the plans could send a message to other developers they could 'jump the gun' on local development plans and said the homes would be 'miles away' from the nearest shops and facilities.

He added the land was in a very rural area which he thought should be protected and said the planning application was not complete without an assessment of the surrounding area.

'Please accept the will of the people, just as you do at the ballot box,' Mr Lucas said.

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However, the applicant's agent John Long highlighted there was a lack of a five year housing supply within the Norwich Policy area, which includes the Framingham Earl site and the government's National Planning Policy Framework favoured sustainable developments in areas where there was not a five year supply of deliverable housing sites.

He said the developer had shown there would be ample drainage to counter concerns over a significant flood risk at the site.

As well as the homes, 33pc of which would be affordable, there will also be open space, a flood attenuation pond, pedestrian links through to Oaklands and a new access route to the site from Pigot Lane.

The Greater Norwich Development Partnership's Joint Core Strategy, to deliver 37,000 new homes in the Norwich area by 2026, earmarks the Poringland and Framingham Earl area for 100 or 200 new homes between 2011 and 2026.