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Residents’ concerns must be listened to

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 January 2018

The Westfield Lane railway bridge in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Westfield Lane railway bridge in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Another week, another major housing application comes under the spotlight.

We report how Breckland Council’s planning committee turned down plans to build 291 houses in Dereham on Monday January 15.

After two hours of debate, the committee decided against the application by just one vote.

It has been argued that the homes would increase pressure on Dereham’s road network.

Some say it will cause more accidents with people using dangerous A47 junctions instead of getting stuck in gridlock through Dereham.

These Dereham proposals come at a time when the prospect of a new garden village in Norfolk has been mooted as council bosses wrestle with where more than 7,000 more homes should be built in the county.

There is no getting away from the fact that there is a national housing crisis.

Many people are struggling to get on to the housing ladder and new homes are desperately needed to ease the pressure.

But proposals need to be carefully considered and not just forced through.

Homes need to be built in places where there is the infrastructure to support them and residents’ genuine concerns need to be seriously considered and not just dismissed as nimbyism.

Decisions made could cause greater problems in the long run and permanently change the character of some of our much-loved communities.

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