Villagers hold protest over bid to build 200 homes in Sculthorpe
- Credit: Ian Burt
Campaigners turned out in force to send an emphatic message to developers who want to double the size of their village.
A total of 147 people gathered in Sculthorpe, near Fakenham, to show their opposition to Indigo Planning's bid to build 200 homes on Sculthorpe Green.
They were representing the Save Our Sculthorpe (SOS) campaign, which is being run in conjunction with the EDP's sister paper, the Fakenham and Wells Times.
Many held SOS posters, which were printed in last week's edition of the Times and some waved signs saying Say No to Indigo.
Indigo claim the development is needed because North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has failed to meet its housing targets.
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But NNDC has told the company the area is not included in its development plan which instead predicts 800 new homes will be built on the northern outskirts of Fakenham, closer to essential services.
Council leader Tom FitzPatrick, who was among the crowd of protesters on Saturday, said: 'I'm in favour of development but it has to be sustainable and in the right place, not haphazard.
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'This village has about 200 houses and to build 200 more would change its character. It would stop being a village and become a detached suburb of Fakenham.'
Indigo has submitted an application to build 71 homes and is seeking outline permission for a further 129 homes and new primary school.
Villagers are concerned about the size of the development, the impact it would have on traffic and wildlife and say it is not sustainable.
Brian Watkins, 65, chairman of Sculthorpe Village Action, representing the SOS campaign, said: 'The turnout shows the strength of feeling. I can't find one person in the village who supports the application.'
Viv Mattews, who has lived in Sculthorpe for nine years, added: 'We get marsh harriers, red kites, skylarks, buzzards and barn owls here which the whole village enjoys. That would all change if the homes are built.'
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