Concerns 25 homes bid for village are “start of something much bigger”

Yaxham Parish chairman Peter Lowings. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Yaxham Parish chairman Peter Lowings. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Concerns have been raised that proposals to build 25 homes in a rural village are the 'start of something much bigger.'

Planning permission was refused for Glavenhill Strategic Land's application to build the 25 homes on land north of Norwich Road, Yaxham, near Dereham.

At Breckland Council's planning committee meeting on Monday, 10 members voted against the proposals and one voted in support of them.

Yaxham parish councillors unanimously objected to the scheme, highlighting that the development would be conflicting with policies in the current Local Plan, would be outside the Yaxham settlement boundary and would cause significant harm to the countryside and rural landscape.

A further 16 letters of objection were sent to Breckland Council.

Speaking at Monday's meeting, Yaxham Parish Council chairman Peter Lowings said: 'The village supports strategic growth but 25 new dwellings would be another major development for us. Already outline permission for 45 new homes has been granted.

'We have no pub, the primary school is full and the design is out of character with the appearance of the rest of the village.

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'The village is concerned that this application is the start of something much bigger with Glavenhill owning a much larger section of land in Yaxham.'

Breckland Council case officer Jemima Dean had recommended refusal but recognised that the development would bring some benefits to the village, providing housing, with 40pc of the 25 homes designated as affordable housing, and job creation.

District councillor Pablo Dimoglou spoke in favour of the proposals.

He said: 'This is a sustainable site and the reasons for refusal are incredibly weak.

'The vocal hard core of people speaking against this and other applications are retired people who are happily living in their big houses in the countryside. Young people need houses as well and they are being forced out of the village.'

Yaxham residents are currently seeking to create greater protection for the countryside surrounding the village.

Yaxham's Neighbourhood Plan working group presented its case to an independent examiner, last month, examiner who is still to decide on the case.

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