Fears over ‘cramming in houses’ as application is put in for new village homes

New homes could be built on the edge of Little Melton. Picture Dan Grimmer.

New homes could be built on the edge of Little Melton. Picture Dan Grimmer. - Credit: Archant

New homes could be built on the edge of a village on agricultural land previously turned down for a potential housing development.

A reserved matters application for 30 new homes has been submitted to South Norfolk Council for a two-hectare field, currently used for agriculture, off School Lane in Little Melton, near Hethersett.

Outline planning permission to turn the same plot of land for residential properties, along with one access off School Lane, was refused by the district council in April 2018 because councillors thought it did not represent sustainable development, would have a detrimental impact on the landscape and reduce the sense of openness both between Little Melton and Hethersett.

But the decision was overturned in January 2019, after an appeal by the planning inspectorate which deemed the development would address the housing supply shortfall and provide affordable homes as well as economic benefits.

Planning inspector Nick Palmer concluded that measures to help the development fit into the area, including new trees and hedgerow, would mitigate against the harmful effects on the landscape.

The new reserved matters application for the 30 homes will be subject to a series of conditions including affordable houses and open green spaces.

The design and access statement said: "On the School Lane site boundary, the orientation and layout of the proposed dwellings respects the existing building line and presents a positive street frontage with the addition of soft landscaping. Consideration has been given to the adjacent boundaries to ensure that the position and scale of the proposed dwellings creates positive relationships."

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If approved, the new homes would be built in a contemporary barn style and range from two-five bedroom houses as well as two-bedroom bungalows. It would also include 10 affordable homes.

Objector Jayne Gray said on the planning website: "The access is in and out is right opposite the school where we already have congestion and is onto School Lane where we have speeding at peak times. It juts out from the village and reduces the separation from the huge development at Hethersett. It has a semi-urban feel and will ruin the character of that part of the village. This development has the hallmarks of cramming in houses where it is not appropriate."