Sculthorpe homes set to be turned down

Sculthorpe village. Picture: Ian Burt

Sculthorpe village. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Councillors have been recommended to refuse plans for a development which would double the size of the village.

Developers want to build 200 homes on green fields in the middle of Sculthope.

But villagers claim it would change the character of their community.

North Norfolk District Council's planning committee meets next Thursday to discuss the application.

A report to councillors, made public today, says 192 objections have been received.

Grounds include increased flood risk in low-lying areas of the village and the dangers extra traffic would bring to its narrow roads.

Objectors also say the development would not be sustainable and would pose a risk to wildlife.

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Three letters supporting the development have also been received. They say more homes are needed in the area, the site is close to Fakenham and its facilities, and access via the A148 is excellent.

But Fakenham Town Council, which objects to the development, says it would put extra pressure on the town's services, infrastructure and amenities.

Norfolk County Council objects on a number of grounds, including: 'The development does not provide a safe route to school for pupils of middle and high school age who will need to walk to school in Fakenham.'

Developers claim the district council has not identified enough potential sites to meet five years' demand for new homes.

They also say the site is sustainable, because it is 2km from Fakenham town centre and it would bring 'economic benefits' including £300,000 a year in council tax.

The report to councillors concludes: 'The applicant's case is that the council does not have a five year supply of housing land and the proposal represents a sustainable form of development which would not cause any significant harm and consequently should be granted planning permission.

'Officers take the opposite view. Firstly, it has been recently concluded at appeal that the council has a housing land supply equivalent to 5.4 years. Secondly it is not considered on balance that the proposal represents a sustainable form of development.'

It adds Sculthorpe is a 'small characterful village set in attractive undeveloped countryside', and the

development would be 'harmful to the character, appearance and intrinsic beauty of this part of the countryside'.

Click here for the full report.