South Norfolk land allocations could give first insight into Hethersett housing decision
A decision on controversial house-building plans in Hethersett has been put back until September – but councillors said proposed land allocations released later this week could give the first insight into the application's prospect of success.
The massive northern expansion of the village proposed by Hethersett Land Ltd includes 1,196 homes, a primary school, shops and business units – a plan which has brought defiant opposition from residents.
The Highways Agency has requested more information from the developers and has a holding objection in place until 31 August, meaning South Norfolk Council cannot determine the application until the objection is lifted.
More details are also being put forward by the applicant to overcome technical objections from the Environment Agency.
A council spokesman said the application would require further consultation and was unlikely to go before a planning committee before September.
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But in the meantime, the growth policies for the entire district will take a step forward this week, which could have a significant bearing on the specific Hethersett application which pre-empted them.
The village has been earmarked for 1,000 houses within the Greater Norwich Development Partnership's joint core strategy (JCS), which aims to deliver 37,000 new homes in Norfolk by 2026.
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But the 'site specific' land allocations for exactly where South Norfolk Council believes its share of the housing targets could be built are due to be published on Thursday – when it should become clear if the Hethersett site is among those considered appropriate for development.
South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller said: 'This week, we publish the results of our work with our community on finding places for new homes and jobs growth. That will include Hethersett and elsewhere.
'The developers interested in Hethersett are being premature in their application to build homes by not waiting for us to announce where we want new homes to go. But they are entitled to put in an application and we have a duty to determine it. We are awaiting views from the Highways Agency.'
A consultation will be held on the proposed development sites in September, timed to avoid the holiday season when many local people and parish consultees could be unavailable.
David Bills, district councillor for Hethersett, said: 'We know the application has been put on hold until the end of August, however, it is the 'site specifics' which will control exactly where those houses end up going. People will be able to see where actual developments could be allowed to take place.
'I would assume that whatever issues the Highways Agency have raised, there is nothing that cannot be fixed with enough money. So I would say the site specifics are really the major thing to look out for. That will be when it gets really interesting.'