‘This is profit ahead of the community’ - backlash against housing application in Norfolk town
- Credit: Ian Burt
A housing developer is being accused of putting profit ahead of the community by failing to provide enough outdoor playing space with a proposed 280-home scheme in Dereham.
A report to Breckland Council planners, who meet on Monday, acknowledges there are concerns over play areas but states the quantity of open land planned for the 280-house development, near Greenfields Road, is enough to facilitate an even distribution of play space. The officer is recommending approval.
However, Breckland councillor Alison Webb and Dereham Town Council say that the available space is fragmented and does not meet the standards required under Breckland's planning policy.
A development of this size should provide a minimum of two LEAPs (Local Equipped Area for Play) and an outdoor sports area, they say.
Mrs Webb said: 'This is profit being put ahead of the well-being of the community and that is just not good enough. The way it has been put forward it not what is best for the community of Dereham. There must be enough green outdoor playing space.'
You may also want to watch:
A spokesman for the town council called the policy 'very clear' and said the development should provide a sports area totalling 11,280 square metres but at present it has only 3,200.
'Dereham has a shortfall of outdoor playing spaces equivalent to 175,000 square metres,' he said. 'It is therefore vitally important that developers fulfil their obligations to provide outdoor playing space and are not allowed to put profit before children's play.'
- 1 Your Say - What are Dereham's favourite shops?
- 2 'Just a dream' - Bridal suite and photography studio open in Dereham
- 3 New home and 'collective purpose' for men's shed
- 4 Scouts offer free activity sessions for Norfolk youngsters
- 5 Trains cancelled due to flooding - and more heavy rain expected
- 6 'Lost a couple of staff members a day' - how the 'pingdemic' is hitting Norfolk
- 7 Women's group resumes face-to-face catch-ups as restrictions ease
- 8 Risk of flooding in parts of region as storms slowly move in
- 9 Hunt for man in connection with drug dealing
- 10 Covid testing bus arrives at Dereham supermarket
It is the third time that the Orbit Homes application has been set to go before the planning committee.
Withdrawal at the request of Orbit Homes in July came shortly after Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman sent a damning letter to the district council, stating that 'people are increasingly fed up with lazy and greedy development' and echoed concerns over outdoor playing space.
But the officer's report adds that environmental and social impacts have been considered and mitigated and it is unlikely to have a negative impact on local infrastructure. It also highlights that the development will make a 'significant contribution towards the supply of housing, including affordable housing'.