Decision day for huge Fakenham development looms
- Credit: Ian Burt
Crunch time is almost up for plans for 950 new homes, a primary school, shops, a pub and a 100-bedroom hotel that have been in the pipeline for almost a decade.
Councillors on North Norfolk District Council’s development committee are due to consider the development for Fakenham, put forward by Cambridge’s Trinity College, on Thursday, December 10.
Although a council officers’ report recommends approving the new estate for the land between Rudham Stile Lane and the A148 in the town’s north, concerns over traffic, the environment, infrastructure and the impact on the town centre remain.
George Acheson, vice chairman of the town council’s development and market committee, said while they were not against new homes at the site, they were worried the inclusion of shops, a pub and ‘town square’ where a market could be held would suck energy away from Fakenham’s centre.
Mr Acheson said: “We’ve never objected to the houses because that’s always been in the district plan, but we don’t want them to have a separate market up there. One thing Fakenham has got going for it is it’s brilliant Thursday market, and we don’t want that to be diluted.
"We were also against them having shops because they’re only 200 yards away from Morrisons - a smaller unit isn’t going to be able to compete.”
MORE: Mix of views on planned major expansion of Fakenham
Tom FitzPatrick, country councillor for Fakenham division, said he supported the plans as long as there had been enough community consultation and there were jobs and infrastructure to go with the houses.
Mr FitzPatrick said: “I think it will benefit Fakenham and hopefully strengthen its position as a market town with properly controlled development.”
Objectors to the plan include Sport England who say there is no sports provision; the Open Space Society who are against losing more countryside; members of the public who are concerned about the impact on roads and for pedestrians and an environmental protection officer who raised concerns over air quality, noise and odour.
The 46.31ha site was originally earmarked for development in 2011.
Thursday's meeting is to decide whether or not to grant full permission to the site's 'means of access' and outline planning permission for everything else.