Villagers' fury at prospect of horse grazing land becoming 150 homes

Highfield Equestrian Centre, Hemsby

The site is currently horse grazing lands, with many villagers concerned their horse will "lose its home" - Credit: Google

Furious villagers are hoping to halt a "disgusting" bid to convert equestrian grazing land into 150 homes, with a petition reaching nearly 350 signatures and dozens of objections flooding the council's planning portal.

Greenvolt Development Limited (GVD) wants to build the homes at the Highfield Equestrian Centre on Newport Road in Hemsby - 50pc of which will be affordable.

In GVD's planning statement, uploaded to Great Yarmouth Borough Council's portal, the applicant says the site will comprise "high-quality homes" with private gardens and lots of green space, as well as water drainage systems, an infiltration basin to deal with flooding and new vehicle access from Yarmouth Road.

The proposed development by GVD Strategic Land Promotion at Highfield Equestrian Centre, Hemsby. Pho

The proposed development by GVD Strategic Land Promotion at Highfield Equestrian Centre, Hemsby. Photo: GVD Access Statement - Credit: Archant

Villagers, however, remain unconvinced, and a petition to "Stop the Highfield Development in Hemsby" has reached 340 signatures.

Started by George Waterman, vice chair of the Hemsby Village Plan Steering Group, the petition says 150 new homes - on top of the 190 already being built at the Pontins site - would put "huge pressure on already struggling services and infrastructure".

During the consultation period, the bid received 35 objections from both villagers and the Parish Council, which called the plans an "overdevelopment of an unspoilt part of Hemsby, where nearby properties enjoy tranquillity and view of the fields with horses grazing".

Hemsby parish council chairman Keith Kyriacou said he was furious with the plans to add a further 15

Hemsby parish council chairman Keith Kyriacou said he was furious with the plans to add a further 150 homes to the outskirts of Hemsby - Credit: Nick Butcher

Council Chairman Keith Kyriacou, meanwhile, said the application was "frankly disgusting".

Norfolk County Council (NCC) expressed concerns that Hemsby Village Primary School was already oversubscribed, while NCC's Environmental Services and Natural Environment Team objected over flood risk and the loss of mineral resources. 

One neighbour, in their objection letter, said "we are a village not a town", while another said they "do not want housing estate upon housing estate bleeding into one suburb of Great Yarmouth".


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Issues about the lack of job opportunities in the village was also a recurring theme.

Others bemoaned the fact that they are still on dentist waiting lists after moving to the village years ago, and that horses would "lose their home" if the fields were destroyed.

picture of petition in hemsby village to stop the highfield development

The petition is gaining ground online - Credit: Change.org

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A GVD spokesperson said: "The application for 150 much-needed new homes represents a sustainable and high-quality scheme which will deliver 50pc Affordable Housing (75 homes) for residents, and will provide appropriate financial contributions towards improvements in local infrastructure and services.

"GVD are currently working with the Local Planning Authority to address comments made on the scheme, and will continue to liaise closely with residents."



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