Dereham housing plan must overcome sewage concerns

A plan to build 200 homes in Dereham has won the backing of council officers – provided the developer can overcome lingering concerns about sewage outflow.

Taylor Wimpey wants to build the new estate on farmland off Norwich Road, with land provided on the opposite side of the Aldiss Park football ground for an urgently-needed new town cemetery.

Councillors deferred a decision on the application in January after hearing concerns from about whether the area's sewerage infrastructure was capable of dealing with the extra waste from the new houses.

Since then, Anglian Water has confirmed that Dereham's sewage treatment works (STW) does not have capacity to accommodate foul water flows from the proposed development.

The house-builder has amended its plans, and alternative options have been investigated including piping waste 2.5km away to the Mattishall treatment works.

Breckland's development control committee will discuss the proposal today, with a recommendation from principal planning officer Nick Moys that it should be approved, subject to a raft of conditions including a waste water strategy.

In his report to the committee, Mr Moys says the Mattishall STW option could provide a potential solution to the waste concerns.

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'Whilst a detailed appraisal is required to determine the feasibility and sustainability of this option, Anglian Water has confirmed that there is a good prospect of a solution being found on this basis,' he says.

'The Environment Agency has confirmed that whilst concerns remain about water quality issues at the Dereham STW and the potential impact on the River Wensum SAC (special area of conservation), redirecting foul drainage flows to the Mattishall STW could provide an acceptable alternative, provided that subsequent detailed investigations show that this is viable and would not be detrimental to water quality in other watercourses.

'It is recommended that any permission granted is subject to conditions requiring a wastewater strategy, sewerage networks and surface water management to be agreed.'

The proposed development includes predominantly two-storey buildings, ranging from single-bed flats to five-bed houses. It would also provide 4.81 hectares of open spaces and play areas, with a green corridor linking the green spaces with Neatherd Moor.