Deadline extended for comments on Hethersett homes plan
The deadline for public comments on a controversial homes plan in Hethersett has been extended – although parish councillors have already agreed their formal objection to the scheme.
Hethersett Land and Landowners has applied for outline permission to build 1,196 homes on greenfield land to the north of the village, near Norwich.
Public comments were due to be submitted to South Norfolk District Council by December 16 – but that deadline has been pushed back until December 31 to ensure all points of view can be taken into account
Hethersett Parish Council has agreed its draft response in principle, which incorporates about 300 responses received at a community drop-in event earlier this month.
Vice chairman Jacky Sutton said the response focused on concerns including the capacity in existing transport, education, health and water infrastructure. It also notes the proposal pre-empts the completion of South Norfolk's local development blueprint, and allows no opportunity for Hethersett to formulate its own area action plan.
'The overwhelming view we captured from residents was that they felt their community would be destroyed by this,' she said. 'We should be involved in our neighbourhood plan before any developer comes forward.'
Little Melton Parish Council chairman John Heaser said he didn't share his neighbouring parish's fear that the planned scheme would erode the 'strategic gap' between the two villages.
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'The main issue we are concerned about is traffic,' he said. 'We have moved on from campaigning against it as a proposal and we are now focusing on making sure the right infrastructure is provided, at the right time.
'Ultimately if it is all built according to the outline plans it could even be an improvement for Little Melton, as it could divert traffic away from the village. That's not to say people are happy about the loss of countryside – I would say 'resigned'.'
Hethersett is earmarked for 1,000 new homes in the Joint Core Strategy adopted by the Greater Norwich Development Partnership (GNDP).
A planning statement submitted on behalf of the developers says: 'The main guiding principles of locating growth at Hethersett are to create a development which links to the existing village and maintains Hethersett's role as a vibrant, sustainable settlement, which has a thriving, cohesive community.
'It (the development) will ensure the continued separation of Hethersett from Little Melton to the north and Wymondham to the west.'
The development plans include community facilities including a primary school, shops, business units, an extension to the Thickthorn Park and Ride site and a new dedicated slip road from the A11.
?Public comments can be registered online at www.south-norfolk.gov.uk.