There was unanimous opposition last night to 83 new homes in Costessey’s ‘green lung’

Residents argue against Costessey homes

Residents argue against Costessey homes - Credit: Archant

More than 200 people came together in solidarity against new homes in the 'green lung' separating Old and New Costessey last night.

Residents argue against Costessey homes

Residents argue against Costessey homes - Credit: Archant

At Breckland Hall, town councillors voted unanimously to reject the plans for 83 new houses in the Tud valley, on grounds including flooding, danger to wildlife and 'flaws' in the design.

Angry residents cited severe traffic issues in the town, and the resulting 'chaos' around Dereham Road.

Tim East, Norfolk county councillor for Costessey, said the application is the 'thin end of the wedge'.

'I am implacably opposed to any development in the valley,' he said.

'We fought tooth and nail to stop the Townhouse Road development, South Norfolk refused it, and it was successful on appeal. The precedent has now been set. As night follows day, applications for the adjacent land will come in all the way down to Longwater Bridge.

'Let's not bespoil the valley by sticking in additional housing when we have taken out fair share already.'

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Vivienne Bell, South Norfolk councillor for New Costessey, added there had been enough expansion of the town.

'We have been open to a lot of development over the last few years and enough is enough,' she said. 'It is not a case of no development. We have been very welcoming in the past and always accepted what has been given to us. 'For me this is the last straw, and I hope we can all stick together and fight this application.'

Steve Codman, of the Farmland Road Action Group, added: 'They are taking a risk in building very close to a high risk flood zone.'

A survey of residents in attendance showed each to a man were opposed to the scheme.

Pete Smith told the meeting: 'These roads will just not take the traffic. I have on three occasions informed highways that the roads have been sinking, and this will add to that problem.'

Neil Watson, chair of governors at Costessey Infant and Junior School, said infrastructure would not cope.

'The school is full,' he said. 'It is not overly full, but we are acutely aware of the traffic issues between the two schools and it is something that concerns us greatly. 'As a local resident, I think it is absolutely nuts.'

John Denby, chairman of the Costessey Society, said: 'Nobody should be believing we are a lot of NIMBYs. 'We have had a landfill site and a travellers site since I moved here, and there has been no bother with either. That is very much down to the people of Costessey. 'We are a tolerant lot, but this application is too far.'

Eight councillors voted unanimously to reject the plans, as did all 230 members of the public.