Plans for homes in former orchard to go ahead amid affordable housing debate

Christopher Cushing, North Norfolk district councillor. Picture: Supplied by Christopher Cushing

Christopher Cushing, North Norfolk district councillor. Picture: Supplied by Christopher Cushing - Credit: Archant

Nine new houses are to be built in a former orchard and apiary in a north Norfolk village after councillors voiced concerns over the need for affordable housing.

Plans for new homes off Orchard Close in Briston have been recommended for approval. Image: Google S

Plans for new homes off Orchard Close in Briston have been recommended for approval. Image: Google StreetView - Credit: Archant

The path has been cleared for Hertfordshire-based Options for Homes to go ahead with its plans for land off Orchard Close, Briston, after North Norfolk District Council granted permission.

Twelve planning committee members voted in favour of the plans, with one abstention.

None of the mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes to be sold on the open market are required to be ‘affordable’ because there are less than 10 on the development.

But councillor Christopher Cushing said: “I think all of us agree that supporting affordable housing is one of the key issues that we need to address. On that basis I’m supporting the application.

John Toye, who is also on North Norfolk District Council. Picture: John Toye

John Toye, who is also on North Norfolk District Council. Picture: John Toye - Credit: Archant


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“Looking at the size of the housing they look like they would be in the realm of housing stock that people trying to get onto the housing ladder would be able to afford.”

MORE: Concerns over homes plan at former orchard and beekeeping baseOptions for Homes had been granted permission to build 12 homes on the site in 2017, but those plans fell through due to problems obtaining funding.

A statement from the firm’s director, Brad Bamfield, which was read out at the meeting, said: “We are confident the new funding will allow a quick start and completion, reducing any disruption and bring the new homes into occupation as soon as possible.

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“We will have a thriving mini community which will enhance the village.”

While also supporting the new plans, councillor John Toye said: “If they had gone with the original 12 that would have been above the 10 and we’d have got some affordable housing.

“We have be aware that what’s gone on has not helped the affordable housing situation.”

Council officers had recommended the plans for approval, although objectors raised concerns over traffic access, noise, neighbours’ privacy and the impact on a hedgerow.

Homes classed as a ‘affordable’ are typically sold or leased at 80pc of their market value.

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