More than half of Norfolk village’s population sign petition against housing plans
- Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017
More than half of a Norfolk village's population have signed a petition against plans to build on what they say is the community's green 'heart'.
Campaign group 'Brundall Says No' claims to have around 2,500 signatures opposing a 170-home scheme on land to the east of the village's memorial hall.
Developer Quantum Land is proposing to build a 'new neighbourhood' on the 17 hectare site, north of Meadow View.
But it has so far been met with fierce opposition from people living in Brundall, who would rather see the land turned into a recreational park.
Nicola Millbank, who launched the petition, said: 'Seventy-one per cent of the village are against this [housing development], and of those 2,500 people, there is an overwhelming desire to have a central green space for recreational use.
'We would like to be able to buy that land at an affordable price to create an open park, and I know there would be an appetite in the village to fund it.'
The 49-year-old mother-of-one said it would only be possible if Broadland District Council's planning committee refused the application.
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'If it does not have planning permission, it will be of lower value,' she said. 'We would hope the landowner would be supportive of the village and would give it at a lower price.'
On Friday, members of the campaign group will be presenting a copy of the signatures to the local authority.
Mrs Millbank said of the 2,500 signatures collected, just 731 were through an online site. She said Brundall had just over 4,000 residents.
Quantum has proposed to phase the estate's construction, with 23 homes initially built.
Along with the properties, it will build a sports park, made up of football and cricket pitches, as well as a pavilion and play area, covering three hectares.
The company is also looking to create a country park to the north of the site, which would be around 10 hectares in size.
But Mrs Millbank said the country park on the outskirts of the village was already a long way for people to walk to and is on a road with no footpath.
She said an open green space was needed by residents, especially those with wheelchairs and buggies, as the village's footpaths are too narrow.
Quantum Land response
A spokesman for the company said: 'We want to deliver some new and much needed retirement and affordable housing to the area, along with new recreational facilities and a country park.
'Our proposals support the policies of the Brundall Neighbourhood Plan, which identify the need to provide housing with care for older people in the village, and recommend the use of part of this land for the enhanced provision of recreational facilities.
'The Broadland Housing strategy shows that the district has a difficulty in delivering affordable housing, with a shortage of available and suitable sites.
'The site is ideally placed to meet these needs, and its central location will enable us to create a sustainable development, close to local amenities that we want everybody in the community to be able to benefit from.'
• The plans can be found on the Broadland website by searching under application number 20171386.