New £10m care village gets the go ahead - despite falling foul of local plan

How the new food store and care home could look. Pictures: CAM Architects

How the new food store and care home could look. Pictures: CAM Architects - Credit: Archant

Plans for a new £10m care village at the end of a former railway line have been approved by councillors - despite contravening a number of planning guidelines.

A joint application from developers, care providers and Co-op was submitted to Broadland District Council in June, looking to build a care village in Reepham, on land at Station Road close to Marriott's Way.

The application came before Broadland District Council's planning committee on Wednesday, proposing a development including a 60-bedroom care home, a food store and a mixture of assisted living homes.

However, it came under severe scrutiny from a number of the committee members, as the plans go against the site's proposed use in the council's local plan - which was introduced in 2016.

The plan - which guides councillors as to what to applications to approve and where - called for the site to be a mixed use development of around 20 homes with employment use.

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It also advised against any development being accessed via Stony Lane, which the care village plans proposed.

Lana Hempsall, district councillor for Acle, said: 'Our local plan is barely out of its nappies, so personally it feels a bit roughshod to veer away from it so soon.'

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However, councillors were told the £10m project would bring more than 150 new jobs across the care facilities, food store and offices included in the development.

The plans will also see nearby Stony Lane widened, trees along it cut back and several other trees removed to make way for the village.

Graham Everett, local member for Reepham, said: 'Stony Lane is a rural road and much of the development itself is seriously out of character with the rest of Reepham.'

The application also received a number of objections from people living nearby, particularly over the loss of trees, widening of Stony Lane and fears over traffic.

However, after more than two hours of discussions, members of the committee opted to follow the recommendations of officers and approve the scheme.

Five members voted in favour of the scheme, while two - Mr Everett and Tony Adams - voted against it. Mrs Hempsall abstained from voting.

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