Green light for 62 new homes - but committee member vows to ‘make a stand’

Plans to build 62 homes on land west of Etling View in Dereham have officially been approved. Pictur

Plans to build 62 homes on land west of Etling View in Dereham have officially been approved. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans to build more than 60 new homes has officially been approved after months of lengthy negotiations.

But the construction of 62 properties on land west of Etling View, Dereham, split Breckland Council's planning committee, with one councillor stating it was time to "make a stand".

Taylor Wimpey's application was initially granted by committee members in May 2018, subject to a number of conditions being met.

In the meantime, the developer was obliged to guarantee 11pc affordable housing on the site, provision of public open space, financial contributions towards local facilities and maintenance of a suitable drainage system.

Due to the time elapsed, it was also necessary for Breckland Council to re-consult with neighbours and interested parties including Dereham Town Council.

Concerns have since been raised over the development's impact on surrounding roads and, at Monday's (September 30) meeting, town clerk Tony Needham said there would be an adverse impact on the already heavily congested Tavern Lane.

However, Rebecca Collins - Breckland's planning officer for the case - argued the site was "unlikely to have a severe impact" on traffic.

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The committee eventually elected to grant permission for the development, with seven members in favour and four against.

But councillor Roger Atterwill was keen to highlight doubts over the ability of Dereham's infrastructure to cope with a growing number of developments in and around the town.

He said: "I do believe that we need to make a stand with Norfolk County Council and say 'enough already'.

"The transport system in Dereham is clearly not fit for purpose."

Mr Atterwill's comments came as the committee gears itself up to consider a further two major applications, which could see another 471 new homes built in Dereham.

Hopkins Homes' scheme to build 255 homes on land adjacent to Yaxham Road and Dumpling Green has been hanging over the town for almost a decade, with a decision deferred again earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Mountleigh Dereham Ltd's application to build 216 homes off Swanton Road was approved in July 2017, but must return to committee for reconsideration once the council and developers have reached final agreements.