First phase of 5,000 home development will see more than 300 homes built in Breckland village
- Credit: Archant
The first phase of a major new development of 5,000 properties across the Thetford area has been given council approval - meaning hundreds of new homes built in a village.
Hopkins Homes Ltd had already gained outline planning permission for a 5,000 home development known as KingsFleet, which is part of the Thetford Sustainable Urban Extension.
And while the outline permission was granted in November 2015, this was the first time specific details went to committee, with a reserved matters application discussed for the first phase.
The application, which was approved by Breckland Council's planning committee, consists of 343 homes being build on land off Norwich Road in Croxton, along with a police base, convenience store and recycling point.
The first phase will see 51 affordable homes included in the development, with a mixture of houses and flats making up the remaining 292 homes.
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Robert Eburne, of Hopkins Homes, said the works could begin in September, with the aspiration being that 80 homes will be built within the first year of the development.
He said: 'This is the first phase in an exciting new era for Thetford.'
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Before voting, members heard concerns from Phillip Stebbings, who lives in the town and raised fears over Joe Blunt's Lane being used for utility services and the impact this could have on trees in the area.
Mr Stebbings said: 'We are not against development on the field but we are against the use of Joe Blunt's Lane. We feel our homes and our neighbours' homes would be at risk.'
Mike Brindle, Labour councillor for Thetford Priory, said: 'This is the beginning of a particularly challenging development. There has been a lot of local concerns about it and that will likely continue for the best part of 20 years.
'However, I think there is a lot of good about this allotment.'
Marion Chapman-Allen, Conservative councillor for the Guiltcross ward, said the reserved matters had taking 'too long in coming forward'.
The application also included provisions for access to the site, including a series of cycle paths.
The first phase of the scheme was approved by councillors on a majority vote of eight to two.