Decision due on controversial plans for 200 new homes in north Walsham

Residents' protest agains plans for 550 new homes in North Walsham: Pictures: David Bale

Residents' protest agains plans for 550 new homes in North Walsham: Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

Residents marched in protest against proposals for up to 550 new homes in North Walsham

Residents' protest march in North Walsham: Pictures: David Bale

Residents' protest march in North Walsham: Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

A decision is due this morning on controversial plans to build 200 homes in North Walsham.

A further 350 houses could be accommodated on the site on the western edge of the town if the application gets the go-ahead.

North Norfolk development committee members have been recommended to refuse the proposal, which has prompted protests from residents.

About 60 people of all ages, many carrying banners, took part in the walk along Aylsham Road on Tuesday, March 7.

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It was organised by Berni Marfleet, who said it was a chance to get their voices heard.

Residents claim there are already serious traffic and safety issues on Aylsham Road, and the new homes would greatly exacerbate risks and congestion.

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Council officers have recommended that the proposals submitted by MLN (Land and Properties) Ltd be refused, and Mr Marfleet said the protest had hopefully helped persuade councillors to approve that recommendation.

He said: 'I was really pleased with the turnout. It shows that the community is together on this, and we hope it has drawn the district council's attention to the strength of feeling against the plans.

'We are not against new homes in North Walsham, which is a growing town, but this proposal is without proper infrastructure and transport provision.'

The march was joined by the town's two county councillors, Eric Seward and John Timewell.

Mr Seward said: 'We are here to support what they are doing. We will find an answer to the problems.'

While the planning application to be discussed by the district council on March 16 is for 200 houses, Mr Mayfleet, who lives in Aylsham Road, added: 'In the application the developers clearly state that their highway improvements could accommodate a further 350 on the existing football ground which is owned by the district council.

'Also, they are proposing gifting football club land on Cromer Road, near Waitrose, for a considerably larger football and sporting facility.

'None of this has been properly assessed in terms of traffic, highway safety and environmental impacts. Any large-scale development must include a bypass to remove traffic and heavy lorries from residential roads and the town centre. We are getting a pig in a poke.'

No-one from MLN (Land and Properties) Ltd was available for comment.

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