Details of 62-home scheme agreed despite space concerns

The lagoon at the existing 266-home Etling View development.

The lagoon at the existing 266-home Etling View development. Taylor Wimpey engineering manager Martyn Rodzian said the basins at the 62-home expansion would be “significantly different”. - Credit: Philip Morton

The final sign-off has been given for a 62-home scheme to be built in a Norfolk town, despite concerns raised about land use.

Developer Taylor Wimpey had received outline permission to construct the 62 homes on land west of its existing 266-home Etling View site in Dereham in 2020. 

At a Monday meeting of Breckland District Council’s planning committee, members considered the plan’s specifics and voted by seven to four in favour. 

Concerns were raised about the use of open space, and how much of it will be suitable for children's play, with councillor Philip Morton pointing out that drainage basins will take up 0.41 hectares.

“If these are anything like the lagoon on the earlier development, this cannot even be considered to be open space. Instead, they will be a health and safety issue, requiring to be fenced off,” said Mr Morton.

Councillor Philip Morton

Councillor Philip Morton raised concern about the space available for children's play. - Credit: Submitted

Taylor Wimpey engineering manager Martyn Rodzian said the proposed basins were “significantly different” to those at the existing development, and would only fill to a 60cm depth after severe storms. 

Breckland planning officer Rebecca Collins said such basins could be considered open space according to the policy adopted by the council. 

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Mr Morton commented after the meeting: “I am disappointed that outdoor playing space of a higher quality has not been provided."

He said he looked forward to improvements around the network of ditches and green infrastructure at Neatherd Moor, but said he felt an opportunity to build a development that added to the environment and brought benefits to residents had been missed. 

62-home design

Taylor Wimpey's design for the 62-home of its existing development to the east. - Credit: Taylor Wimpey

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said last week: “The proposals we have submitted to Breckland Council have been carefully considered, with the existing neighbourhood and future prospects for the area in mind. 

"By providing a small extension to the west of the existing Etling View development, we’ll create a welcoming and walkable neighbourhood, surrounded by generous green space. 

"Alongside a range of quality homes, we plan to deliver two new children's play areas within the site’s boundary.
"We would also contribute approximately £218,000 to local education, health services, landscaping and Dereham Library." 
House building is expected to start by the end of 2021, with homes available for purchase by summer 2022.

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