Plans for 255 homes which have been 'hanging over town' for a decade could finally be decided
PUBLISHED: 15:44 19 June 2019
A 250-home planning bid which has been "hanging over" a Norfolk town for almost a decade could finally be coming to a conclusion.
Hopkins Homes first made its intentions to build more than 250 homes on greenfield land in Dereham in 2010, on a 42.4 acre site off Dumpling Green.
Breckland Council deferred a decision on it back in 2014 over highways concerns, but until now the application is yet to return to committee.
On Monday, though, the saga could finally be due to come to an end, with the planning committee to once again run the rule over the application.
Carl Griffith, Breckland's case officer for the scheme, has recommended members of the planning committee approve the scheme.
However, with the item due to be discussed before the expiration of a public consultation into it, any decision would be subject to no further issues being raised as part of this.
Phillip Duigan, Conservative councillor for Dereham Toftwood, said he was surprised it had taken so long to come around.
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He said: "It has definitely been hanging over the town for a long time and quite why Hopkins Homes has been so slow coming back forward with it is a bit of a mystery to me.
"Naturally, we would have expected it back sooner but it seems to have gone through quite a lot of issues."
Mr Duigan, who sits on the committee, said the town was relatively different to when the application was first lodged, with planning permission for range of other schemes being approved in the meantime.
He added: "In my time as a councillor the number of people living here has almost doubled - since the 1960s Dereham has probably trebled in size.
"People have grown used to development but there is always worry of Dereham almost becoming a dormitory town to Norwich."
Tony Needham, Dereham Town Council clerk said: "We still have serious concerns about how the town would be able to cope with the additional congestion a development of this size would bring."
Simon Bryan, development director of Hopkins Homes said if approved, the bid would provide 46 affordable homes, more than £750,000 towards local education and almost £100,000 towards healthcare funding.
He said: "It has taken some time to bring the proposals back to committee after it was deferred in 2014. In this time a number of additional surveys and assessments have been completed,"
The application is due to be discussed on Monday, June 24.