Should houses be built on the ‘pond field’ at Ingoldisthorpe?

Mike and Marianna Vawser, who are opposing plans to develop the field where they keep their sheep in

Mike and Marianna Vawser, who are opposing plans to develop the field where they keep their sheep in Ingoldisthorpe. Picture, Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Villagers are divided over plans to build 12 houses on a field in the centre of their community.

Ben Marten wants to develop land around the village pond off Lynn Road, Ingoldisthorpe.

In a planning statement Mr Marten, who owns Ingoldisthorpe Hall, says the houses will not have an 'adverse impact' on neighbouring properties.

But the parish council has objected to the plans, because of 'strong sentiment in the village'.

Mike and Marianne Vawser, who live next to the site, rent the field for their flock of sheep.

Mr Vawser, 75, has lived on Hill Road in Ingoldisthorpe since 1947. He said: 'This is the last remaining view of historical importance left on this side of the village.

'It's an open space. What we want and what the parish wants is for it to remain an open space forever.'

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Villagers say newts and oyster catchers - both protected - are among wildlife found in the area.

Mr Marten wants to build a new road around the pond to access the houses. People living around the site fear it would lead to increased traffic.

In an online planning comment, Janet Campbell said: 'The additional traffic and ensuing building work on an already busy stretch of road would cause chaos and increase the risk of accidents.

'In addition, the pond and surrounding area is a haven for wildlife and this would be destroyed in the building process. It is a totally unsuitable site for this size and type of development.'

Neighbour Kathryn Herculson adds: 'The pond is a focal point of the village and naturally beautiful. It does not need to be 'developed' like some artificial feature of a second-rate suburban shopping centre.

'As a local teacher, I am aware that Ingoldisthorpe Primary School is at almost full capacity and this includes 2 log cabins used as classrooms. How will it support more children?'

But not all views expressed in response to the outline planning application have been negative.

Supporter Colin English, who lives in neighbouring Dersingham, said: 'I can't see a problem with the plan. I think it would smarten up the appearance of the village and make a real centre like a village green.'

Ben Marchbank, also in favour, said: 'The scale and density of the proposed site does not seem overly intensive and would enhance the built environment.'

A decision is expected in September.