Villages battle over boundaries in bid for new homes

Views from caister water tower

Views from caister water tower - Credit: Archant

Opposition to a housing plan has triggered a tug-of-love style battle between two villages with one side launching a petition to move the boundary that divides them.

People in Caister argue that a new 189-home development will bring all the burdens and none of the benefits of a growing population.

The uncertain position of the Persimmon Homes' estate known variously as Pointers East and Beauchamp Grange has long been an issue, with the developer marketing it as being in Caister, saying it is geographically closer and easier to find in web searches.

However, according to traditional parish boundaries the site, bounded by Jack Chase Way and Yarmouth Road, lies in Ormesby St Margaret.

Having strongly objected to the scheme Lynne Connell of Caister Parish Council has launched a cross-border bid to claim the site and is gathering signatures for a petition to get the boundary moved.

A statement on the council's Facebook page reads: 'As a result of the plan to press ahead with the plan to build houses on the border of Caister with Ormesby despite opposition from many Caister residents and the parish council, a vote at last night's parish council meeting decided to back a petition to review the parish boundary between Ormesby and Caister.

'As things stand currently all monies raised through council precept for these new houses will go to benefit Ormesby not Caister - that cannot be right please sign the petition. Lets continue the fight for our village.'

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Mrs Connell, of Seafield Road North, said the main aim was to create a proper boundary between the villages to protect their identities.

Moving the boundary would also tidy up discrepancies around post-codes, she said.

To trigger a crucial community governance review she needs to prove the support of 10pc of the electorate by gathering 370 signatures which she was 'quite confident' of doing, she said.

However Geoff Freeman, chairman of Ormesby with Scratby Parish Council, said the issue was not negotiable.

Children from the development would feed into their designated Ormesby schools and Flegg High School as well as the village doctors surgery he said.

He anticipated the development would also generate traffic through the village as the new residents made their way on to the A149.

He said: 'The view of the parish council is that we would strongly oppose any change to the boundary. We are unanimous in that position and it is not negotiable.

'I would hope that if we can resolve this amicably there would be benefits to both parishes.

Charles Reynolds who lives in Caister but represents Ormesby said he was bemused by the bid.

The border was technically at Reynolds Avenue he said and moving it would nudge people in Meadowcroft Bungalows into Caister too.

He said: 'If they are under the impression that there is going to be something like a lottery win out of this then I am afraid they are sadly wrong. I could understand it if they were going to discover oil there. I don't know what advice they have taken but the procedures and consultation would be unbelievable.'

Mr Reynolds recalled one similar situation when a development in the Links Road area was moved into Gorleston rather than Hopton which was some six or seven miles away.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes, said: 'Persimmon Homes Anglia have confirmed that the forthcoming development, known as Beauchamp Grange, is being listed on its website as being in Caister, as that is geographically closer and easier to find in web searches. However they are well aware that the site lies within the parish of Ormesby.'

Borough solicitor Chris Skinner said the boundary issue was a council matter. He said section 106 money, funding for social and community projects given by the developer, was 'up for grabs' regardless of boundaries and would be unaffected by any change.

Mrs Connell hopes she can make the changes in Caister's favour before the elections in May.

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