Bid to build homes next to Neatherd Moor County Wildlife Site in Dereham recommended for approval

Locals are protesting about proposed plans to build 62 new homes at Neatherd Moor in Dereham. Pictur

Locals are protesting about proposed plans to build 62 new homes at Neatherd Moor in Dereham. Pictured are (from left) Marie Horne, Sharon Cavill, David Smith, Julie Walmsley, Roger Hollett and Paul Walmsley. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Proposals to build 62 homes next to land listed as one of the most valuable nature habitats in Norfolk have been recommended for approval by a council planning officer.

A report to Breckland Council's planning committee shows that more than 430 members of the public have objected to Taylor Wimpey's application to build the homes next to Neatherd Moor in Dereham.

The plans, which the company described as an extension of its on-going development of 226 homes at Etling View, are due to be determined on May 31.

The council officer's report states: 'There is considerable local objection to the proposed development. However, local opposition in itself is not a reason for refusing planning permission. Rejection of proposals must be based on valid planning reasons.'

Neatherd Moor was designated as a County Wildlife Site in 2013.

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The Open Spaces Society, The Ramblers and the Campaign to Protect Rural England have also raised objections.

Anglian Water say the existing sewerage network is operating at capacity and the development would 'cause a risk of flooding downstream.'

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The planning officer states this issue can be resolved with planning conditions.

The report adds: 'The proposals would not result in the loss of the Neatherd and whilst bringing the built form closer to part of the Neatherd, the proposal would allow for a sufficient break and landscaped buffer together with additional planting and habitat creation, to not cause any significant harm to the appearance, setting and enjoyment of the Neatherd and Shillings Lane.'

Paul Walmsley, who launched a Save Neatherd Moor campaign group is unhappy that opponents to the scheme will only have a combined three minutes to speak at the planning meeting.

He said: 'It is outrageous that the most objected to scheme on Dereham's planning history is only allowed the same three minutes of talking time as Joe Bloggs would have opposing a shed.'

What do you think of the proposals? E mail

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