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Heacham development plans cut by a third

PUBLISHED: 09:27 20 June 2013 | UPDATED: 09:27 20 June 2013

A public meeting was held by Heacham Parish Council to discuss plans for 350 new homes to be built in the village - Villagers pack out the Heacham Public Hall for the meeting. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A public meeting was held by Heacham Parish Council to discuss plans for 350 new homes to be built in the village - Villagers pack out the Heacham Public Hall for the meeting. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2013

The number of homes proposed for a major new development in West Norfolk has been cut by a third after a storm of opposition.

Developers Townsfolk and Broadland Housing Association wanted to build 355 houses and flats, an old people’s home, pub and community centre on former farmland at Heacham, near Hunstanton.

They said the scheme would be connected to the A149 via a new roundabout and slip road.

But Heacham Parish Council said the plan was too large for the village. And more than 300 angry residents packed a public meeting at the village hall two months ago.

Now papers seen by the EDP reveal the number of homes proposed for the development has been cut by more than a third to 200.

An amendment to the planning application has said that the changes were made to take into account consultation responses.

Andrew Savage, Broadland’s executive director of partnerships, said: “Townsfolk and Broadland Housing are currently working with the district council to agree an appropriate solution to the significant demand for new market and affordable housing in the district, taking in to account the views of the local community.”

Many residents had complained about the size of the application and the strain it could cause on the village’s infrastructure.

However the reduction in the size of the plans is not enough for the parish council or the local MP.

West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said: “It is still far too big a development.

“Even with the scale reduced by 150 houses it would still not be in keeping with the village and would change its character.

“Heacham has been allocated 63 additional houses over the next 13 years.

“For one developer to try to build three times that figure is not sustainable.

“What Heacham needs is a small number of additional homes and more affordable housing.”

Parish council chairman Dave Chessum said: “We haven’t changed our stance one iota. We are fully against it.

“As far as the parish council is concerned the borough council’s figure of 63 additional houses is what we will accept.”


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