Plan for 175 homes in Blofield in the balance

Controversial plans to build 175 homes in a village near Norwich will come under the spotlight today, with officers urging councillors to turn down the proposal.

Councillors at Broadland District Council will decide whether to grant permission for the homes in Blofield, on a field to the west of the village.

The application for permission has been lodged by AGH Smith, JE Smith, RG Smith and SLA Property Company Ltd and would include business units as well as the homes.

The developers had said the scheme, named Manor Park, would create homes and jobs and make the local community more prosperous.

But the parish council, which organised a public meeting about the proposals in October last year, has objected to the development.

The district council has received a further 139 objections to the scheme from people in Blofield and about half a dozen more from people in nearby Brundall, Little Plumstead, Lingwood, Strumpshaw and Thorpe St Andrew. There have been five letters of support.

In its objection, the parish council points out that, in the blueprint for future housing in and around Norwich - known as the Joint Core Strategy - Blofield is only earmarked for about 50 new homes.

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Although a legal challenge has placed a question mark over that strategy, with a High Court Judge ordering that part of it is reconsidered, officers at Broadland District Council say that the 50 home allocation remains a material consideration for councillors.

They are recommending the scheme is turned down. Reasons officers are suggesting councillors should use to reject the bid are that the development goes against the local plan and that barriers which would need to be put in place to block noise from the A47 would 'result in an unattractive outlook from properties'.

In the report which will come before councillors at today's meeting at Broadland's offices in Yarmouth Road, Thorpe St Andrew, officers conclude: 'In having regard to all matters raised, it is considered that the proposals... do not provide sufficient justification on which to grant outline planning permission on a site that is contrary to the provisions of the development plan.'

• Are you fighting a planning application where you live? Call Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email