Protesters in Yaxham, near Dereham, hail a council decision a victory for people power

Members of Yaxham neighbourhood plan working group celebrate victory: Picture: David Bale

Members of Yaxham neighbourhood plan working group celebrate victory: Picture: David Bale - Credit: Archant

A group fighting a village expansion is celebrating a victory for people power, after proposals to make it a local service centre were rejected.

About a dozen members of the Yaxham Neighbourhood Plan Working Group attended today's local plan working group meeting at Breckland Council.

Members were protesting against their village, near Dereham, being defined as an LSC, which would open it up to more development.

During an often heated debate the committee decided to go against the officers' recommendation to include Yaxham as a LSC.

The group's case was based on its claim that Yaxham parish incorporated three separate settlements, which were not contiguous, and it was too far to walk to different services.

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They also said public transport was limited, the primary school was at capacity, and there were not enough employment opportunities in the village. It, therefore, did not meet the criteria to be a LSC.

Maggie Oechsle, chairman of the neighbourhood plan working group, said; 'We have a vision for organic growth in the village. We don't have a pub. 'How can it be justified that a village with just 360 homes could also be in line to get 98 new dwellings?'

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After the meeting, she said: 'This has been a mammoth task, which we have been fighting for, for about 10 months.'

Chairman of Yaxham Parish Council, Peter Lowings, added: 'Common sense has prevailed.'

The meeting also heard from district councillor for Yaxham, Pablo Dimoglou, who runs Yaxham Waters Holiday Park,

He argued for the village to become a LSC and said they should take their 'fair share of the burden' of housing development. 'I've got a business in the area and employ about 30 people, and hope to employ more in the future,' he added.

Roger Atterwill, chairman of Swanton Morley Parish Council, was also in favour of the proposal, and said being an LSC was 'of benefit to his village'.

Meanwhile, Breckland Council members agreed to recommendations that Bawdeswell and Garboldisham be designated LSC villages.

The proposals will now be discussed by Breckland Council's cabinet and full council, which will make the final decision.

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