'They are bulldozing it through' - Town's fears over plans for another 550 homes

Willow Park in Aylsham with Trevor Bennett

Developments like Willow Park, pictured, have had a significant impact on Aylsham, according to local councillors such as Trevor Bennett (inset). - Credit: Sonya Duncan/Supplied by Trevor Bennett

Hundreds of extra homes are being forced without proper consultation on an historic market town, according to local councillors.

More than 500 new houses could be built in Aylsham over the next 15 years as part of the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP), which would see 250 built on land south of Burgh Road and a further 255 on a site off Norwich Road.

Trevor Bennett, chairman of Aylsham Town Council, said: "The rapid growth over the last five years has created problems within the town and a fear that Aylsham is being treated as a dormitory town of Norwich."

Trevor Bennett, chairman of Aylsham Town Council

Trevor Bennett, chairman of Aylsham Town Council, said the rapid growth over the last five years has "created problems within the town". - Credit: Supplied by Trevor Bennett

Between 2011 and 2019, the town's population increased to nearly 8,700 mainly through developments off Henry Page Road, the old hospital site, Bure Meadows and Willow Park.

Development in Aylsham is creating problems within the infrastructure of the town.
Byline: Sonya Dun

The layout of Aylsham's streets has not changed since medieval times. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Originally, the GNLP proposed that Aylsham would have one site of 300 houses, but that number has been bumped up to 550, with the additional development mooted for Norwich Road.

Mr Bennett said: "There is no need to increase the number of new homes from 300 to 550 other than to satisfy the profits of developers."

Development in Aylsham is creating problems within the infrastructure of the town.
Byline: Sonya Dun

Aylsham Town Hall, pictured, was not consulted over plans to increase the number of homes for Aylsham under the Greater Norwich Local Plan, according to Aylsham Town Council chairman Trevor Bennett. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

He added that Broadland District Council did not consult with the three district councillors for Aylsham or the Town Council.

"At no point were there discussions with the town council of potential changes," he said.

The Liberal Democrat candidate for Reepham, Sue Catchpole

Sue Catchpole, the Liberal Democrat Broadland District councillor for Aylsham. - Credit: Archant

Sue Catchpole, Broadland District councillor for the town, said: "In my view, there should be one more development in the next fifteen years, not two. We need small homes for young people starting out and elderly people hoping to downsize.

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"The infrastructure problems are very real. And a junior school is needed."

The plans for Burgh Road include a new school.

"It does feel like they are bulldozing it through," she added.

Broadland District Council has been approached for comment.

Development in Aylsham is creating problems within the infrastructure of the town.
Willow Park devel

An empty playground on a Tuesday afternoon in Willow Park, a development outside Aylsham. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

On Tuesday afternoon (October 5), Willow Park, a development off Cawston Road, was quiet.

Resident Ryan Barney, 25, said he likes living there and the neighbours are nice but that public transport to the town centre is "non-existent".

Another resident said: "We love it here. It's a small town and the original streets were not built for too many cars but you can't change that now and you wouldn't want to."

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