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Historic farmhouse set to be demolished for 46 new homes

PUBLISHED: 13:46 08 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:09 09 January 2018

Erne Farm in Necton that could be demolished to make way for 46 new homes.  Picture: Rossi Long Consulting

Erne Farm in Necton that could be demolished to make way for 46 new homes. Picture: Rossi Long Consulting

Rossi Long consulting

The demolition of an historic farmhouse and barns in Necton is expected to be approved by planners to make way for 46 new homes.

Proposed layout for 46 new homes on the site of Erne Farm in Necton.  Picture: Lanpro Proposed layout for 46 new homes on the site of Erne Farm in Necton. Picture: Lanpro

Breckland’s planning committee, which meets on Monday, is recommended to give the go ahead to the application by Heritage Developments for the demolition of Erne Farm on North Pickenham Road despite its heritage value.

The report to the committee states: “Although it is acknowledged that the buildings are of merit, particularly in light of their ‘clay lump’ construction, they are not of sufficient merit to be considered for formal designation. The evidence submitted in relation to their structural state of repair and the costs associated with their retention would be prohibitive and cannot be justified in this instance. The NCC Historic Environment Service has recommended a historic building recording condition is imposed to record any historic significance prior to demolition.”

Necton Parish Council has said it is in favour of developing the site but said 46 far exceeds its desired number.

In a letter to the district council it said: “This site when presented for consideration in the Local Plan was identified as having capacity for 20 dwellings. Road access needs more consideration.”

Inside the derelict Erne Farm in Necton that could be demolished to make way for 46 new homes.  Picture: Rossi Long Consulting Inside the derelict Erne Farm in Necton that could be demolished to make way for 46 new homes. Picture: Rossi Long Consulting

But it also adds that it does not want the site to become Necton’s ‘second diner’, referring to the site next to the A47 which has been left as an eyesore for many years.

It also raised concerns about the ongoing financial and operational management of any open space, which may become the responsibility of the parish council. The planning application comes with the offer of providing a community park.

Breckland also received seven letters of objection including concerns that the farmhouse should not be demolished as it is a historic building, the scheme will result in foul drainage issues, and the site is located off a dangerous corner with poor access into and out of Necton onto the A47.

They also felt the proposal would destroy the character of the area and have an adverse impact on wildlife and protected trees.

Inside the derelict Erne Farm in Necton that could be demolished to make way for 46 new homes.  Picture: Rossi Long Consulting Inside the derelict Erne Farm in Necton that could be demolished to make way for 46 new homes. Picture: Rossi Long Consulting

The report concludes the benefits in context of the existing lack of a five year housing land supply and contribution made towards affordable housing, outweigh any potential harm or negative impact.

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