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Wait for decisions on 500 new homes goes on

PUBLISHED: 17:34 10 September 2019

Planning decisions on three proposals in Dereham, including one for 255 new homes off Yaxham Road and Dumpling Green, have been deferred again. Picture: Google Maps

Planning decisions on three proposals in Dereham, including one for 255 new homes off Yaxham Road and Dumpling Green, have been deferred again. Picture: Google Maps

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Question remain over plans to build more than 500 homes in a Norfolk market town after decisions were again delayed.

Hopkins Homes' proposal to build 255 new homes off Yaxham Road has hung over Dereham for almost a decade. Picture: Ian ClarkeHopkins Homes' proposal to build 255 new homes off Yaxham Road has hung over Dereham for almost a decade. Picture: Ian Clarke

Approval of three major developments in Dereham - off Yaxham Road/Dumpling Green, Swanton Road and Etling View - would see a total of 533 new properties built across the town.

Breckland's planning committee gathered for a special meeting on Tuesday morning to run the rule over the trio of proposals, but conclusions for all three were postponed once more.

Nigel Wilkin, chairman of the committee, said: "Items have arisen that need more attention from our planning officers. They have therefore been deferred with my agreement."

The delay comes after Dereham Town Council sent letters to the district council regarding the Yaxham Road and Swanton Road developments, raising concerns over their adherence with transport regulations.

As a result, the decision was taken to omit all three Dereham proposals from Tuesday's agenda.

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A spokesman for Breckland Council said: "Since the initial publication of the planning reports, Dereham Town Council has submitted correspondence which is relevant to all three of these applications.

"Due to the in-depth issues raised in the correspondence, it is now necessary to conduct further meetings between the Highways Engineers at Norfolk County Council and planning officers.

"We have therefore deferred the applications further until those discussions have taken place."

The delay will trigger a familiar feeling of apprehension among residents, with Hopkins Homes' scheme to build 255 homes on land adjacent to Yaxham Road and Dumpling Green hanging over Dereham for almost a decade.

A decision has been deferred several times, most recently in June after the plan was controversially fast-tracked to committee ahead of the end of its latest round of consultation, before being pulled from July's agenda.

Meanwhile, Mountleigh Dereham Ltd's application to build 216 homes off Swanton Road was originally approved in July 2017.

However, the scheme must return to committee for reconsideration due to the length of time it has taken to put final agreements in place between the council and the developers.

The third application - to build 62 homes on land west of Etling View - has also been approved, back in May 2018, but awaits the committee's rubber stamp after lengthy negotiations.

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