Care village, 160 homes and retail space approved for market town

A masterplan for 160 homes, a residential village, care home and retail facility in Swaffham. Pictur

A masterplan for 160 homes, a residential village, care home and retail facility in Swaffham. Picture: Abel Homes/Savills - Credit: Abel Homes

A housing scheme promising to reshape part of market town in the west of the county has been given the go ahead - and will see around £500,000 pumped into the local area.

Abel Homes has been given permission for a major development in the south of Swaffham, which will bring up to 160 new homes, a care village and new retail space off Brandon Road in the town.

The care village will include a 64-bed care home and up to 40 assisted living homes, which along with the homes will make use of some 32 acres of farmland.

Tony Abel, Abel Homes chairman, said: "We build and deliver quality homes and this will benefit the local community by contributing almost £500,000 into education, health and sports facilities into the area."

The contribution will see £204,000 put towards education, £200,000 towards sports provisions, £77,602 going to the NHS and £12,000 to libraries.

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However, there were still concerns that the town's health provisions will struggle to deal with the influx of new homes.

Helen Rayment, an objector who spoke at the committee, said: "Swaffham already has a huge percentage of care homes and a stretched GP service.

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"The pressure on the NHS in the town is already insurmountable and the £77,000 proposed as a contribution is not enough."

A previous form of the application had included the provision of a medical centre, however, this was replaced by the financial contribution.

Paul LeGrice, managing director of Abel Homes said: "We initially tried to include a centre but there was no real level of support for that from the NHS so in the end it just wasn't viable."

Despite these concerns, the proposals were approved by Breckland's planning committee on Tuesday, by six votes to two.

Mr Abel added that the care home and assisted living homes would create between 35 and 40 new jobs in the town.

Carl Griffiths, the council's case officer for the scheme, added that he felt the 650m/sq of retail space included would not detract from the town centre.

However, another scheme proposed for the town by Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd, looking to build 60 homes off Princes Lane, was refused.

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