‘People will stop visiting Dereham’- Concerns voiced over potential impact of 255 new homes on town’s traffic

PUBLISHED: 13:25 13 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:44 13 October 2018

Hilary Bushell, mayor of Dereham, has voiced concerns over the impact of 255 new homes in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Hilary Bushell, mayor of Dereham, has voiced concerns over the impact of 255 new homes in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

Concerns have been voiced over the potential impact that 255 new homes in Dereham could have on traffic congestion in the town.

MP George Freeman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMP George Freeman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The controversial plans from developers Hopkins Homes would see the new houses built on land east of Yaxham Road and south of Dumpling Green. The proposals were deferred at a planning meeting in July.

Dereham Town Council agreed at a meeting on Tuesday October 9 that the current level of congestion is unacceptable and that it will oppose the development because of the increase it would have on traffic.

During the meeting, the mayor of Dereham, Hilary Bushell, said: “It is no good developers simply saying that their development only adds a small percentage to the end of the queue, this is going to be the case for any development until we reach breaking point.

“People living in the surrounding villages will stop visiting Dereham, they will prefer to travel to service centres where congestion is not an issue.

“It is time to say that enough is enough. Neither Breckland Council or Norfolk County Council seem to realise that there will be an economic knock-on if congestion increases to the levels predicted.”

A recently updated transport assessment on behalf of Hopkins Homes highlighted that: “the proposed development does not significantly impact upon the operation of the local highway network and that capacity issues at the junctions are, on the whole, pre-existing issues within the local highway network.”

However, MP for Mid Norfolk George Freeman also warned of the need to consider the impact on traffic and said: “The serious traffic congestion already affecting parts of Dereham is well known, and it is therefore imperative that considerable thought is given to how this issue is managed and remedied over the years to come.

“That’s why the likely impact of any future developments on traffic congestion in the town is one of the key issues that must be taken into account when they are being considered at the application stage.

“We must not allow unsustainable development to be dumped on our towns and villages without the necessary infrastructure and services required to support it.”

The plans will be discussed again by Breckland’s planning committee on a date yet to be confirmed.

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