Plans for 250 new homes in Downham Market turned down

The site off Nightingale Road, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

The site off Nightingale Road, Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Plans for 250 new homes on the outskirts of Downham Market have been turned down.

Permission was granted for 170 new properties on a 14ha site off Nightingale Lane, near the A1122, in October 2016.

Councillors on West Norfolk council's planning committee were recommended to allow this to be increased to 250 properties when they met today.

But Downham Market mayor Frank Daymond, speaking on behalf of the town council, said it opposed the scheme because the town's infrastructure would be unable to support it.

He said there were concerns about its impact on traffic around the site. He added the town's waste water treatment plant, which was designed to deal with waste from 10,000 people, was already serving a population of 11,667.

Richard Brown, for developers the Grosvenor Partnership, said the land had been allocated for at least 140 houses, and there had been no objections from any statutory consultees.

Officials said the density of homes proposed for the site was far lower than neighbouring developments. Grosvenor proposed to build 18 houses per hectare, compared with a density of between 23 and 30 p/ha elsewhere in Downham.

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Part of the proposal included a new roundabout off the A1122 near the junction with the A10.

Councillors queried why this could not be built at the junction of London Road and the Downham Road turn-off for Denver.

They were told part of the land needed for the roundabout did not belong to the applicant. Some belonged to the county council and some was privately owned.

Councillor Martin Storey proposed the application be refused on highways grounds. Officials said the county council had made it clear it would not fund a roundabout and improvements to the Denver junction were not considered a priority.

Geoff Hall, the council's director of planning, said: 'To refuse a scheme that the technical experts say is acceptable on the grounds that you want something the local highways authority say cannot be delivered, that is not within their ownership, is manifestly unreasonable.'

Councillors voted 12 - 2 to oppose the scheme on highways grounds and grounds of sustainability, with one abstention.

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