Key planning document delayed

Approval for a document which shapes the future of large parts of Breckland has been held up after a government inspector said changes needed to be made to a housing scheme in Shipdham.

Breckland Council has been working on a so-called Site Specific Policies and Proposals document (SSPP), which is part of the Local Development Framework, and covers development of a range of places including Dereham. Swaffham, Watton, Shipdham, Harling, Narborough, and Swanton Morley.

The future of expansion of Thetford and Attleborough is covered in different blueprints.

The SSPP was due to discussed by councillors before the end of this year but will now be debated at the start of next year due to changes which need to be made to the proposals for Shipdham.

Included in the document is the proposal to build up to 80 homes in the centre of Shipdham on an area of just over four hactares north of Chapel Street. This brownfield site currently consists of a coal yard, a chip shop and fields.

The report said planning permission was granted in January this year for residential development on land off Parklands Estate, in the village, and building would start in 2014 and finish in 2026.

A Breckland Council spokesman said: 'The inspector responsible for examining the council's Site Specific Policies and Proposals document considers it necessary to make a change to the site allocation in Shipdham with the inclusion of a further site in order to make the document sound. No other changes have been indicated to the rest of the document. Therefore, due to the need to consult on this change it is clear that this is the only new piece of land that is to be included in the site specifics that was not otherwise in the submission document.

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'The additional period of consultation closes on December 5, and the council will be submitting a further response to the inspector on this matter. The Planning Inspectorate have advised that the inspector's report will not be issued until mid December as time will be needed to consider any responses received. Therefore, due to this unforeseen delay, the document will be put to full council at the earliest possible opportunity although this is not now expected until the New Year.'

Paul Chubbock, Shipdham Parish Council chairman, did not want to comment on the decision, but added that council members will be discussing the matter at a special public meeting at Thomas Bullock Primary School, in Pound Green Lane, Shipdham, this Friday from 7pm.