Housing giant appealing against refusal of 255-home development
- Credit: Matthew Usher
A controversial scheme to build 255 homes on the edge of a market town could be back on after a developer lodged an appeal against a council’s decision to reject it.
Hopkins Homes first set out its design for the site south of Dumpling Green in Dereham in 2010.
After years of deferrals by Breckland Council, members of the authority’s planning committee eventually voted the plan down by a margin of 7 to 4 in January of this year - against the advice of the council’s planning officer.
But now Hopkins has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, saying the development would provide “significant benefits”.
Yaxham Parish Councillor Chris Couves spoke against the scheme at the time, and re-iterated his concerns.
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“The B1135 will be used as a rat run through our village to Norwich, should the A47 be difficult to get onto in the morning, creating increased noise and pollution,” he said.
“We already have 291 homes at Westfield waiting to be built, and more than 200 on the Swanton Morley Road. All those extra people will converge into Dereham, and it’s going to be a nightmare.”
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Mr Couves also warned that the new housing could lead to Badley Moor, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, becoming polluted: “Run-off from the new development, such as oil dripping, people washing their cars, and the general detritus from vehicles will filter down into the River Tud.”
In a statement, Hopkins Homes claimed that the site complies with planning requirements and would reflect the area’s “character, needs and opportunities”.
Simon Bryan, development director of Hopkins Homes, said: “There is a great need for additional housing in the district of Breckland and the proposed development would bring forward such housing in a sustainable location.
“In addition to delivering this much needed housing the proposal would also provide significant benefits to the community including more than £1 million towards education, healthcare provision and library services.
“It would also provide considerable open space for the use of sport or outdoor play and contributions to a footbridge at Westfield Lane.
“The application was recommended for approval by the council’s planning officer who concluded that the scheme was a sustainable development. As such, we consider that there is a good reason to pursue an appeal against the refusal.”
Residents have until November 1 to make their views known to the district council.