Should another 240 homes be built on the edge of Downham Market?
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
Plans for 240 new homes on the edge of Downham market look set to get the go-ahead.
Developer Albanwise wants to build on land off Bridle Way, to the north-east of the town.
As well as the houses, it is proposing to provide 'a generous landscaping corridor' and a new wildlife area to create 'a soft green entrance' to the town.
The scheme also includes new allotments and paths, and an £18,000 contribution to library facilities in Downham.
Wimbotsham Parish Council objects. It says: 'Development would give rise to unacceptable visual impact from the surrounding
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countryside and village of Wimbotsham, be highly visible from both long and short distant views east – west including from across the fens to the west from where the land rises to the site, which is located on a natural high point to the north of Broomhill.'
It adds the site is on higher ground, increasing its visual impact, while the development would also bring 'unacceptable and damaging visual impact from light pollution'.
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Of the wider issues affecting the town, it goes on: 'Parking within Downham Market is already over-stretched and there is inadequate
parking at the train station. This development would add to this pressure.
'There is no provision for the increase in infrastructure, eg doctors and dentists.'
Downham Town Council also objects, because the site is outside its current development boundary and only served by a single road.
An earlier proposal for 285 homes was met with 34 letters of objection on grounds of loss of farmland, increased traffic on the A10 and lack of infrastructure in the town.
The latest application has received eight objections and one letter of support, because it would bring a number of afforable homes.
West Norfolk's planning committee has been recommended to approve the plans when it meets on Tuesday, May 8. A report to councillors says: 'Whilst the proposed development is for more dwellings than initially expected/sought, it is clear that allocation numbers are minimum numbers and it is considered that the site can accommodate (subject to design and appropriate layout) up to 240 dwellings without
material harm to the visual amenity of the locality or neighbour amenity.'