Controversial proposal for 100 new homes in Dereham submitted for a second time

The proposed site for new housing near Westfield Road, Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

The proposed site for new housing near Westfield Road, Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A controversial planning application for up to 100 homes in Dereham has been submitted for a second time after it was previously refused on the basis that the development would lead to a loss of employment land.

The proposal is for the homes to be built on land off Westfield Road, including a number of affordable homes.

The original application was rejected in February 2016 after objections were raised by the town council.

It argued there is not enough evidence to prove sustainability for housing in terms of employment opportunities and said that Dereham has an unemployment rate which is above the Breckland and national average.

Concerns were also raised about traffic along Westfield Road which is already over capacity during peak times.

The decision was appealed by the trustees of the GT Scott Will Trust, who own the land.

In April that appeal was dismissed.

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The latest proposal notes that after concerns about the amount of traffic and highway safety on Westfield Road, off site highway improvements measures would be implemented, including a pedestrian crossing and 20mph zone.

But Breckland district councillor, Alison Webb, said there are still many infrastructure improvements needed in the town before proposals like this should be considered.

She said: 'There are ongoing issues with lack of sewage capability to cope with all these houses, there's no way we can have more developments until that problem is taken care of. There are also problems with traffic with the Westfield Road development because there are some very busy junctions near to it and more traffic will not help the situation. Adding more houses means adding more traffic.

'There are lots of concerns and there is a lack of infrastructure to make proper developments work not just for the existing residents but also for new residents.'

Last week Mrs Webb also spoke in opposition to plans to build 285 homes in the Dereham, stating that no more homes should be built until problems with sewage are resolved.

That application was deferred to allow more information about plans for open space within the development to be provided.

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