Attleborough housing development deferred over highway concerns

A plan to build 375 homes on the edge of Attleborough has been deferred by Breckland councillors for a second time in a month.

Residents who oppose highway aspects of the development, which would be built off London Road by developer Taylor Wimpey, have said it 'flies in the face of local democracy'.

The application, which includes outline plans for 3.9ha of land for employment use and three access points, was debated for more than an hour this morning.

It was originally discussed by the same planning committee on April 11, but was deferred to allow officers to investigate with Norfolk County Council's highways authority and the applicant issues relating to the access points for the site, the road junction, the narrowing of London Road - the old A11 - and the design of properties on London Road.

Jenny North, ward councillor for the Queens area, said: 'They (Taylor Wimpey) have resubmitted their plans with no alterations whatsoever.'

Council planning manager Paul Jackson said: 'I don't think the applicants have covered themselves in glory by coming back with unaltered plans.'

Pam Spencer, councillor for the Thetford Guildhall ward, said the developer had not taken into account the 'overwhelming feelings' of objectors who live near the proposed access point closest to the town.

Most Read

In the current application, there are three different areas along London Road which would be used to enter the site, one for the employment area and the other two for residents.

The aplication agent, Mr Osborn, said: 'I appreciate people are afraid how the development will affect them. I say to them that planning is about promoting the public interest and not pandering to the fears of the few.'

Following concerns raised by the highways department, it has been proposed that the houses facing London Road would have a more residential character and a 30mph speed limit would be imposed.

Pedestrian crossings and wider footpaths and cycle paths would also be introduced on London Road, which would be narrowed.

The planning report said: 'As altered, the road would retain ample capacity to cater for traffic flows.'

It added that in order to mitigate the impact of increased traffic from the development to the town centre, the applicant would change the traffic priority at the junction of the High Street and Connaught Road to favour traffic on the High Street with traffic lights.

Adrian Stasiak, ward councillor for Burgh and Haverscroft appealed to the other members and said: 'This is a cheap fix. Don't let it happen, please.'

More than one councillor agreed the application was 'premature' for Attleborough, which was due to have 4,000 new homes over the next six years and this particular scheme should be considered after the Attleborough and Snetterton Heath Area Action Plan had been put together.

Stephen Hinde, from Hargham Road, Attleborough, said after the meeting: 'It (the plan) is like having the cart before the horse. We are not opposed to the development as such but to put in 375 houses now without looking at the grand plan is not good. What Attleborough needs is more money for infrastructure. It is a tick box exercise, not an exercise in local democracy.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter