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Hundreds sign petition opposing plans for new Norfolk garden town

PUBLISHED: 17:10 16 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:11 16 October 2018

A map of the proposed new town's location in mid Norfolk, between the villages of North Elmham, Billingford and Bintree. Photo: Lanpro

A map of the proposed new town's location in mid Norfolk, between the villages of North Elmham, Billingford and Bintree. Photo: Lanpro

Archant

Hundreds of people have signed a petition opposing plans to build a new town in mid Norfolk.

Andy Cutcher, from the newly-formed group Campaign Against the New Town (CANT), set the petition up last Tuesday, and said: “People have been writing their names down at about 100 a day.”

Mr Cutcher, 62, said: “I put the petition online on Tuesday afternoon, on October 9.

“We want to take it along to the Breckland District Council meeting (October 25) to express the local residents feelings.

“We’ve been allowed five minutes to talk to the councillors and we hope to update them on how many have signed the petition. I’d like it to get to four figures.”

Mr Cutcher, a retired meterologist, said: “It’s not just locals though. This is going to affect all of Norfolk.

“Most people in the immediate area should have had a leaflet through their letterbox and we’ve been encouraging people to go along to the meeting.

“Jennie Borgnis, chair of North Elmham parish council, will speak at the meeting on behalf of CANT.

“We though it was important that someone who was elected did the talking.”

The petition has been shared online on the petition website change.org, and Mr Cutcher added that physical copies were available in North Elmham.

He said: “It’s mainly online and we’ve got some paper copies so anybody local who wants to sign it can do so.

“There are some copies up in the pubs in North Elmham and at the Tea Post, at the post office.”

CANT was set up by a group of representatives from the villages which would be most affected by the proposals: Bawdeswell, Billingford, Bintree, Foxley and North Elmham.

Mr Cutcher added that if the proposals were to come to fruition, a “whole way of life” would be affected.

He said: “Many villages around here have small developments and we’re happy to accept our share.

“But the thing we object to is the way they [Lanpro] kept talking about community.

“They have not said one word to anybody around here.”

Lanpro have been contacted for comment but were unable to respond ahead of publication.

But managing director Chris Leeming previously said the firm welcomed CANT’s views and the plan would benefit the wider area.

To view the petition, visit Campaign Against the New Town on change.org.

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