Councillors debate plans for five new cottages in West Norfolk village

Terry Parish, Vivienne Spikings, and Terrington St Clement

Councillors Terry Parish (bottom left) and Vivienne Spikings (top right) disagreed with one another over the building of five new cottages in Terrington St Clement, on land accessed from Alma Avenue (pictured). - Credit: Google/Matthew Usher/Sarah Hussain

Five new homes will soon be built in Terrington St Clement, near King’s Lynn, despite two councillors disagreeing with each other on whether the homes were needed.

Permission for four homes on Alma Avenue had already been granted in principle, but at a Monday borough council meeting, councillors agreed to accept a revised plan for five homes. 

An existing bungalow and garage will be demolished to make way for the development, which according to a council report will be “1½ storey cottage/chalet style, with dormer windows serving accommodation within the roofspace”.

Terry Parish, leader of the council’s opposition group of independents, said: “They’ve already got much higher allocation of housing than was thought likely in this area, and this is a Flood Zone Three area." Flood Zone Three areas have a 1 in 100 or greater annual probability of river flooding.

A pubilc meeting was held Old Friends Hall in Heacham discussing the housing development on School R

Independent opposition leader Terry Parish said the area was already meeting its allocation of homes, and did not need any more. - Credit: Matthew Usher

He said allowing the five homes in addition to those already allocated was “annoying” for the parish council and for residents.

He added that hundreds of people had opposed a nearby scheme for 44 homes in the village a few years ago, on the grounds that “it was too many houses in the wrong place”.

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“Why add to the problem?” Mr Parish asked.

The council’s Conservative planning committee chair, Vivienne Spikings, responded: “I’ll tell you why. It’s because they’re not being built out. It’s as simple as that. 

Conservative councillor Vivienne Spikings, who chairs the borough council's planning committee.

Conservative councillor Vivienne Spikings, who chairs the borough council's planning committee. - Credit: Sarah Hussain

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“Houses are needed, [there are] more and more people in this country. Houses are just not being delivered in a timely fashion for people to come along and buy or rent.

“I’m sorry - all this ‘We don’t want houses here’, ‘We don’t want this’ - we can’t keep coming here at this committee and saying this time after time.”

She added that the site was “what you could call, in one sense, a windfall site”, which means it's not included in a formal local plan for the area.

Alma Avenue in Terrington St Clement

The five new cottages will be built on the square-shape of green land in the upper centre of the image, accessed from Alma Avenue. - Credit: Google

An officer said: “We regularly grant windfall schemes. You assess them on their own merits and the village, Terrington St Clement, is a key rural service centre. 

“It’s not ‘meet your allocation and then shut up shop’, we can’t do that.”

Every committee member voted to approve the plan, except for Mr Parish, who abstained.

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