Parish council objects controversial plans for housing estate

The Welney Recreation Ground Users Group working on the recreation area known as Sandgate Corner, P

The Welney Recreation Ground Users Group working on the recreation area known as Sandgate Corner, Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Welney Parish Council has objected to plans to build a housing estate on land a local group has received £60,000 in grants to transform into a community facility.

At the community area in Welney are (from left) Paul Fox, Liz Laws, Jen Warne and Sheree Edmunds. Pi

At the community area in Welney are (from left) Paul Fox, Liz Laws, Jen Warne and Sheree Edmunds. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Ken Goodger, chairman of the parish council at Welney, near Downham Market said members will also be writing 'a stiff letter' to West Norfolk Council about the outline application for land it owns at Chestnut Avenue.

His remarks were made at Tuesday night's parish council meeting where the issue was debated at length between parishoners, parish council members and west Norfolk councillor David Pope.

Mr Goodger said: 'I certainly think we should also write a stiff letter back [to West Norfolk Council] saying how we can't support it - an excellent group of volunteers has been treated badly.'

Members of Welney's Recreation Ground Users Group, known locally as RUG, have worked hard to fundraise and transform the site at Sandgate Corner from overgrown wasteland into open space for the community.


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They have vowed to keep fighting the application which, if given the go-ahead, could mean their project is bulldozed to make way for the development.

The village school closed last year and at the meeting, councillors agreed that the application may well have been passed if it had been submitted earlier.

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Paul Edmunds, one of the members, said: 'If they [West Norfolk Council] had come to me a year ago and wanted to put 16 houses there, and before RUG carried out their work, I would've said 'great'.

'The application may have kept our school open, the shop more viable and the pub going - so why is it only being applied for now?'

Councillor Pope explained he visited the relevant department at West Norfolk Council to speak to the relevant parties and said it is likely to have been submitted because of the council's lack of five year land supply for housing.

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