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Village votes through blueprint to help control where homes are built

PUBLISHED: 11:22 14 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:22 14 August 2018

Residents discuss the Horsford Neighbourhood Plan. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Residents discuss the Horsford Neighbourhood Plan. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

People living in a village on the outskirts of Norwich have come up with a blueprint to help control where homes are built in the years ahead.

And villagers in Horsford are optimistic the extra cash which would be generated by a levy on the new homes which do get permission could be used for other improvements.

To try to ensure the development is properly planned, the community has followed in the footsteps of other Norfolk villages by putting together a neighbourhood plan.

While such a plan cannot stop development from happening, it can influence the location and look of homes, along with what community facilities should be provided and what infrastructure is needed.

The plan, which runs until 2038, was adopted by Broadland District Council following a referendum in the village.

That referendum saw 418 people vote in favour and 42 against - a level of 90pc support of those who voted.

The blueprint acknowledges that there will need to be housing growth in the village.

But the plan aims to help ensure design is appropriate and that it address the need for housing for older people.

It also wants to see green spaces protected and enhanced, new shops (including a new or expended supermarket or convenience store) encouraged and good enough provision of school and medical facilities.

A new or extended community centre is also supported, along with new outdoor recreation space, with particular support for a skate park.

Angela Makinson, who was a member of the steering group, said: “It is a legal document and developers will have to take notice of it.

“It will enable us and Broadland District Council to assess applications against it.”

Now that the plan has been adopted, the share of the Community Infrastructure Levy - a levy on new development - which the parish council receives will increase from 15pc to 25pc.

That is cash which can be used to pay for infrastructure, facilities and services - such as schools or transport improvements - which are needed to support new homes and businesses in the area.

The parish council has set up a business action group to come up with recommendations for what the money could be spent on.

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