Housing plan is a relief for Hethersett

New housing would have placed a ''stranglehold'' around Hethersett if developers had had their way, a South Norfolk councillor has said.

Speaking at an open cabinet meeting yesterday, David Bills, right, Hethersett Ward councillor and portfolio holder for innovation and efficiency, said he was relieved that South Norfolk Council's preferred sites plan left the number expected in the area at 1,226. As reported, around 9,000 new homes have to be built across South Norfolk.

But the local authority have nailed their colours to the mast and whittled down 1,500 potential sites put forward by eager developers to just 150.

While Hethersett is taking a large part of the load, cabinet leader John Fuller confirmed that as many as 4,000 new homes had been proposed for the area.

Mr Bills said: 'We (Hethersett) had been earmarked as easy pickings, but it has been brought back more to reality, which is good.

'But the figure cannot go any higher; people in Hethersett will not accept it I am sure.'

The 'stranglehold' reference came as council officers displayed a graphic showing what developers had wanted – a mass of houses covering the top of Hethersett which would have brought it ever closer to Little Melton and Norwich.

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Mr Fuller, below, said: 'Making sure that separation between the towns and villages is not massively reduced and that they keep their identity is vital, I believe we have managed to allocate without overwhelming any one district.

'I think people in Hethersett accept that they are close to the city, and attract development because of that.

'Without a plan it could have been much worse, we have controlled the density as well as allowing for the development to bring with it places to park and things like play areas.'

South Norfolk Council's cabinet are upbeat about their planned list of sites, which they say will not only protect areas but exploit development to bring about long needed improvements.

For example they say that traffic congestion will be eased on the B1113 and A140 junction near the Tesco store at Harford Bridge, as developers will be forced to build a new link road.

And schools, village halls and village greens will be among those in line for expansion and improvement.

Mr Fuller said: 'This is a once in 20 years opportunity to get some things done, to get things from the development that we have needed for a long time.

'We cannot please everyone, but the majority should be happy with our plan.'

A consultation period on the 150 sites will now take place for 8 weeks, beginning some time after the August bank holiday.

What do you think about the plans? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@ archant.co.uk

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