Villagers vow to battle on as new plans to develop School Road on the edge of Heacham are revealed

Villagers crowd into the Church Hall to see the revised plans tonight. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Villagers crowd into the Church Hall to see the revised plans tonight. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Villagers vowed to fight on against plans to build a care home and new houses on the outskirts of Heacham, as new proposals went on display tonight.

Plans to build 200 homes on land between School Road and the A149 were thrown out in September.

Developers Townsfolk and Broadland Housing are now proposing 70 homes, a new care home and allotments on land off School Road.

They say they have taken concerns over the size of the development, originally intended to be accessed via a new link road off the A149 coast road into account.

But parish councillors and people living near the site said it was too large and in the wrong place, as proposals went on show for the first time at Heacham Church Hall.

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Townsfolk now propose the site would be accessed via School Road, with an improved junction with Broadway.

But parish councillor Terry Clay, who was one of more than 100 people who crowded into the hall to view the plans, said: 'They haven't convinced any member of the parish council.

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'What people have got to realise is it's not just about that junction we should be concerned about, it's the other junctions in the village which will be overloaded by the amount of traffic.'

Fellow councillor Terry Parish said he was also against the revised plan.

'One reason is the increased traffic flow along School Road, which is a cul-de-sac which leads to a complex junction by a school,' he said.

Villager Les Chilvers, 70, said: 'The main thing is the traffic that's going to go down School Road, you come to the junction with Broadway and it's a crossroads, there's going to be no end of accidents there.'

Other visitors to the exhibition said they feared services in the village could not cope with the extra demand.

Kevin Partyker, 47, said: 'The doctor's is the big issue. I know that when you ring up, they struggle to get you an appointment.'

Townsfolk director John Symington, who fielded a flood of objections, said the development would meet local need for affordable housing and a new care home.

But he admitted: 'I've had better nights. Whilst I concede there are concerns we have heard this evening, some of them we can't do anything about.'

Villagers clapped and cheered as West Norfolk councillors voted unanimously against the proposals in September.

Heacham Parish Council said the development was too large for the village, whose infrastructure could not support it. Two weeks ago, developer Broadland Housing submitted an outline application to build 70 homes on the site. But the parish council says the borough's Local Development Framework (LDF), which is a blueprint for where housing should be built to meet future need, states that Heacham needs 66 homes, spread over two other istes in the village.

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