Dereham FC homes plan comes under fire
Dereham councillors have criticised an 'overcrowded' and 'unimaginative' plan to create a new neighbourhood of 200 homes in the town.
Taylor Wimpey Homes wants to build the houses, ranging in size from one to five bedrooms, on land to the west of Dereham Town Football Club's venue on Norwich Road.
At a meeting on Tuesday, town councillors supported the choice of location but said the scheme included too many houses for the site, and criticised the external design and internal layout of the proposed buildings.
John Gretton said: 'I am not opposed to developing this piece of land in any way at all.
'But I think the designs are singularly unimaginative and I can never really understand why we have a series of houses plonked down at random like this when the Victorians built terraces and they are still very popular in Norwich.
'I would have thought a series of terraces of town houses would have looked better than these uninspiring boxes.'
Mr Gretton also said, while he was in favour of affordable housing, he thought the location of the site could have been more suitable for larger houses to tempt commuters.
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Linda Monument said: 'The overall work that has been done has been pretty good. But I object to uniformity of the housing and the layout – there are buildings here with about seven different designs and in all but one you cannot step out from a utility room into a garden.
'Apart from the heat loss issue, if people have to leave the house through a dining room or living room it will discourage them from using their linen lines and is not very practical for children. People should be able to go with their children into a garden without opening a huge patio door.'
Some elements of the proposal were welcomed, including the provision of a four-hectare plot of farmland on the other side of the Aldiss Park sports ground as an urgently needed new cemetery.
Later in the meeting, the town council agreed a recommendation from its social and welfare committee to suspend the purchasing of graves at the existing burial ground on Cemetery Road until a new site had been secured. Councillors were advised that if people continue to reserve burial plots before their death, the cemetery could be full within 18 months.
Tim Birt said the developers' plan to link the housing estate with the cemetery via a green corridor of parkland could also benefit the town.
'On a positive note, the environmental assessments were very good and done in a lot of detail,' he said. 'If the developers adopt what was said, this should be a real asset along Shillings Lane.'
But Mr Birt also noted that one through route could 'become a racetrack' and a member of the public voiced concerns that on-street parking narrow residential streets could eventually prevent access to emergency vehicles.