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Concerns over Dereham housing plans

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 July 2010 | UPDATED: 10:19 01 August 2010

Ian Clarke

Proposals for hundreds of new homes in Dereham are causing growing concern among people who live near sites earmarked for development.

An extra 600 properties are in line in the town up to 2026 - on top of 1,371 which have already been completed or have planning permission.

Proposals for hundreds of new homes in Dereham are causing growing concern among people who live near sites earmarked for development.

An extra 600 properties are in line in the town up to 2026 - on top of 1,371 which have already been completed or have planning permission.

A huge consultation is on-going over the proposals and three sites has been named as preferred ones for homes.

One is for about 180 dwellings at the old Maltings off Norwich Road, the second is for about 240 homes off Greenfields Road and the other is on land between Windmill Avenue and the football club for about 200 homes.

The planning framework also includes preferred sites for a new cemetery west of the football club and also new employment land at Rash's Green and south of Dereham Business Park and also new shops on land around Georges Road/Nunns Way and Cowper Road.

On Tuesday town councillors supported the preferred sites but Linda Monument said there were “grave concerns” locally about a rat run being created through Wheatcroft Way leading to new homes off Greenfields Road.

There were also worries about bungalows on Windmill Avenue being overlooked by new properties neadby.

People around Dereham have voiced concerns about various aspects of the proposals.

Michael Finlay, of Wheatcroft Way, said: “About 600 houses will all need access to the Norwich Road. The road and Dereham just cannot handle this amount of extra traffic which will be caused by the 1,000 extra cars that may arise from the new people moving to the area. I feel Dereham just cannot cope and the council are destroying wonderful recreation areas enjoyed by many that will be ruined forever.”

He has given out flyers to residents in Greenfields Road and all of Elderberry End to protest and is urging people to oppose the proposals.

Eddy Catchpole, of Elderberry End, said the plans for land off Greenfields Road was causing “extreme concern.”

He said: “Norwich Road is already overloaded at peak times. The exit at the junction of Norwich Road and Wheatcroft Way is dangerous, the access is narrow and used as a turn round by traffic on the main road.

The joining of the two developments will create a rat run, with cars using the link through the residential area to avoid Neatherd School.”

Roger Lench, of Potters Bar, is opposing the employment land allocation near Dereham Business Park.

He said it was “utterly ludicrous” that new developments were planned when parts of existing industrial estates were empty.

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