Welbeck re-submits plans for 300 homes in Aylsham

A developer whose application was turned down for 300 homes plus land for the expansion of Aylsham High School, and public open space, is having a second bite of the cherry.

Welbeck Strategic Land has re-submitted its outline application to Broadland District Council for a site north of Sir William's Lane, which is outside Aylsham's development boundary, to the east of the town.

And the re-jigged application contains a number of key changes, aimed at meeting earlier objections, which have been welcomed by a district councillor who opposed the original plan.

The re-submission follows Broadland's approval earlier this month of another out-of-boundary plan, on the western side of Aylsham. The Youngs Farms scheme will see 250 homes, 10 football pitches and a clubhouse built on farmland off Cawston Road.

Welbeck has now included a roundabout at the A140 junction with Burgh Road in its scheme, to answer critics who feared the new homes would create traffic and safety problems.

And the proposed transfer of 14.5 acres of land to Aylsham High School would be carried out in a single phase, once planning permission was granted, rather than the earlier two-phased proposal.

Aylsham High would use the land to develop both educational facilities and community sports resources, and a new school car park to ease traffic congestion on Sir William's Lane. Some objectors feared the two-phased transfer could have resulted in long delays which might have jeopardised the promised community benefits.

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Following talks with Aylsham Town Council, the re-submitted plan also includes provision for 30 allotments on part of a 17.64-acre piece of land earmarked as public open space,

The original scheme was turned down in June by Broadland planners who didn't feel the benefits to the community made amends for the siting of the development outside the boundary.

They also listed a number of other objections and Welbeck has appealed against the refusal.

Erik Pagano, a director of Landform Estates, a joint partner in the venture, said they expected an appeal decision early in the New Year but believed the re-submitted plan answered all objections.

'There is an identified housing need in Aylsham to which we are responding. We believe this is the most appropriate site in Aylsham and, as part of that, we are able to deliver wide community benefits,' he said.

Broadland councillor Ian Graham, who represents Aylsham, said he had not yet seen the new plan but had been opposed to the original scheme because of the lack of a roundabout and the two-phase transfer.

'If those details have been resolved then this is good news. It's nice to see developers listening to the views of local people,' he said.

The scheme would include 33pc affordable homes which Mr Graham said would go some way to easing the current 230-strong waiting list.

He believed Aylsham could accommodate both the Youngs and the Welbeck developments. The town's retired population was 36pc, the highest in Britain, and Aylsham needed more young families to use local services and keep it vibrant.