Latest on plan for 290 homes at Holt

The draft development brief for the 18-hectare site at Heath Farm and Hempstead Road. Picture: SUBMITTED

The draft development brief for the 18-hectare site at Heath Farm and Hempstead Road. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

A bid to earmark land for up to 290 new homes on the edge of Holt looks set to forge ahead after public consultation threw up only a handful of objections.

From April 22 to May 20, North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) asked residents for their views on making 18 hectares at Heath Farm and Hempstead Road into housing land.

In a report to next Monday's planning policy and built heritage working party, the results of the consultation have been published - and officers said they had not raised any 'fundamental issues'.

The comment in the report comes despite the fact that Holt Town Council put forward a host of responses, raising fears about issues including:

? The failure to mention the lack of car parking in the town

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? That 'great effort' was needed to stop the development becoming a 'separate community to Holt'

? The site could be 'inadequately resourced for open space and play facilities'

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? Links to the town 'will not be constructed as a first priority'.

They called for a mix of housing, including smaller, affordable housing to enable local people to stay in the area. And they urged NNDC to press for a cycleway and a footpath from the development into the town and to Holt Country Park 'as priorities'.

Other responses included from Bob Cummings, who said such a large development was 'detrimental to the unique character of Holt. Others said 290 homes was 'far too many'.

The plot has also been earmarked by NNDC for employment uses, public open space and community facilities including new allotments.

The consultation was designed to enable NNDC officers to prepare a 'development brief' for the site, telling would-be developers what is required and covering aspects including layout, open space, access arrangements and the appearance of the development.

Results from the consultation and a public exhibition will be used to influence the outline planning application for the site.

At a recent Holt Town Council meeting, members raised concerns about the lack of job opportunities locally, and said it was important to fill the five hectares of employment land off Heath Farm and Hempstead Road.

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