Plan to add 200 more houses to 1,196-home development
- Credit: Mike Page
The developers behind an approved scheme to build almost 1,200 homes in a village near Norwich have applied to add an extra 200 homes to the land.
Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey were given outline permission to build 1,196 homes on the north side of Hethersett in July 2013.
The development also consisted of a new primary school and local amenities such as shops, small business units and community facilities like sports pitches, recreational space and a doctor's surgery.
Phase one of the work is almost complete with 397 of the homes occupied as of January 2021, but now the developers want to add an extra 200 homes on 5.1 hectares of land already included in the initial site plan.
In a statement prepared on behalf of Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey, agent John Long Planning said an "uplift" in the number of homes is necessary as "it has become evident that the developers will use less land than anticipated".
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The agent added around 35pc of the extra new builds would be affordable homes, including 68 provided by the developers and 18-22 more coming from the local authority.
If approved, the site for the additional homes would be part of phase four of the development. So far, initial works on phase two have begun and further reserved matters applications for phase three are in the pipeline.
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A spokesperson for the development consortium said: "We have liaised extensively with both the parish and district councils on these proposals and, as the properties all fit within the existing development and density parameters, over development should not be a concern."
Norfolk County Council's flood and water management team has objected to the plans "in the absence of an acceptable drainage strategy", but said it would review its comments if issues are addressed.
While no Hethersett residents have so far made an official comment to South Norfolk District Council on the proposed increase in homes, several villagers have voiced their concerns.
Christine Larkowsky, who has lived in the village for 60 years, said: "The continuous development is ridiculous.
"We probably need a new doctor's surgery as the present one is linked with Cringleford and Mulbarton. Why should residents here have to travel to those surgeries because there are no available appointments here?
"The roads through the village cannot cope with all the traffic now, with parking on the roads too.
"And there's nothing for the teenagers in the village either."
Jo Weston said she was "very concerned" about the impact extra homes and residents would have on school places, and warned it could lead to siblings being split up.
She said: "I live on the Hethersett/Wymondham border but my eldest goes to school in Hethersett.
Lots of siblings didn't get in this year and we are now facing trying to move to Hethersett in order to get our younger children in. Even then there is a chance they won't get into the school. I'm very worried about it.
"More children means a bigger fight for spaces. Children from the catchment are above siblings in the pecking order."
In contrast, Katie Clemitshaw, who moved into one of the completed homes on the wider development three weeks ago, said she thought it was a good thing.
"I’ve just bought one and it’s a great way for new home owners to buy where we’ve grown up and wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford to stay without these new houses," she said.
Concerns have been raised over trees and hedgerow along Little Melton Road which have recently been cut down.
The spokesperson for Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey said: "All tree and hedgerow removal work is being carried out in accordance with the outline planning consent.
“The landscape proposals will, of course, seek to compensate for the loss of existing vegetation and provide a biodiverse network of green spaces that is attractive to both new and existing residents, and wildlife.”
And when asked about some other concerns raised about the potential loss of allotment space, the spokesperson said: "The approved outline planning application provided allotments in the strategic gap land and this remains the case."
Hethersett Parish Council will discuss the application at back-to-back meetings from 6.30pm on Monday April 26.
SNDC will consider the application in due course.