Plans refused to turn former village post office into four homes

Old Yaxham Post Office. Picture: Breckland planning documents/ Housing Ladder (Breckland) Ltd

Old Yaxham Post Office. Picture: Breckland planning documents/ Housing Ladder (Breckland) Ltd - Credit: Archant

A former post office building which has been standing in a village for more than 50 years will not be turned into homes.

Proposals were submitted to turn the old post office in Clint Green, Yaxham, into four new homes.

The shop, which has existed on the site for more than 50 years, was closed after the previous owner died. It was not reopened.

The plans would have seen the vacant building demolished and replaced with two three-bedroom houses and another two two-bedroom properties.

But they were refused by Breckland Council over issues around the character of the area and biodiversity of the site.

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Yaxham Parish Council, which objected to the new plans, said: “The location of the site is so close to the busy junction with Well Hill, the neighbouring primary school access and the blind bend to the west.

“It was bad enough when the previous application for a second dwelling was permitted, and could only be exacerbated by having four dwellings and probably eight cars on the site and the increased car movements.”

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The building shares a boundary with Yaxham Church of England Primary school, which also commented on the plans.

A spokesperson for the school said: “There is currently a shared access route between the two plots, this is the only vehicle access to both properties at present.

“It is also the pedestrian route taken by all children, parents and some staff when arriving at school each day from the surrounding roads.”

A design and access statement, prepared by Landmark Associates on behalf of the applicant, Dovercourt Holiday Lodges, states: “When the property was purchased by the current owner it was clear from the site’s planning history that the council considered the land to have potential to accommodate additional dwellings.

“A number of young local people have complained that there is insufficient housing locally, and due to the restricted supply, the resulting high prices are not achievable for younger people or key workers.

“The extra provision of the dwellings allows families to move up the housing ladder, freeing up the smaller family and starter homes.”

A former application to transform the site into two dwellings was refused at the end of 2019.

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