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Vision for 10,000-home garden town near Dereham likely to miss out on council support

PUBLISHED: 12:39 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:59 23 October 2018

The site of a proposed 10,000 home new garden town in the Norfolk countryside near North Elmham, Photo: Archant

The site of a proposed 10,000 home new garden town in the Norfolk countryside near North Elmham, Photo: Archant

Archant

Controversial proposals for a 10,000-home garden town near Dereham are unlikely to be backed by Breckland Council, with its leader and chief executive recommending councillors distance themselves from it.

The proposals for land between North Elmham and Bintree will be discussed at full council on Thursday, with the council set to decide whether or not to support the scheme.

Unveiled over the summer, the vision came from planning consultants Lanpro, following a government call for garden town and village proposals nationwide.

In a joint report, Breckland Council leader William Nunn and its chief executive Anna Graves have recommended members do not back the vision.

In it, Lanpro is accused of poor communication around its expression of interest, both with the council itself and the wider community.

It says: “The council would have expected significant efforts to have been made to engage with the community if a proposal of this nature is being pursued.

“Whilst this could come forward later in the design and delivery elements, it appears the community has not been engaged at an early stage to allow proper considerations of the principles of the scheme.”

The report also suggests the council was not given sufficient time to consider the proposals and that it required further information before they could receive its support.

It says: “Without significant further information in this regard, it is unclear how the proposal would be both viable and deliverable.

“Delivery at this scale and in this complexity requires significant consideration of the type and role of any delivery vehicle.

“Given the timescale limitations due to the closing date of November 9, developing an effective, legal and properly thought out delivery vehicle that can be agreed by all partners has not been considered.”

The proposals came about after the Norwich-based consultants responded to a government call for visions of garden towns and villages.

The company approached Breckland Council for its views on the proposal, which will be decided at the meeting on Thursday.

Chris Leeming, managing director of Lanpro, said: “We await the reflection from the council and will respect its view.”

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