MP blasts planners for ‘house dumping’ over proposal for 291 homes

George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, has criticised Prime Minister Theresa May for postponing the Bre

George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, has criticised Prime Minister Theresa May for postponing the Brexit vote. Picture: Archant - Credit: Nick Butcher

A Norfolk MP has spoken up about his 'serious concerns' over the pace of development in and around Dereham, and called a proposed development of 291 homes 'house dumping'.

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman said: 'Development after development cannot go on being built in Dereham'.

The MP highlighted his concerns in a letter to Breckland Council's planning committee, who are due to discuss an amended proposal for 291 homes on the outskirts of Dereham on Monday, which has been recommended for approval.

In a letter to council officer Rob Walker, dated Wednesday November 23, Mr Freeman said he wished 'to put on record my concerns about the application for 291 homes on land off Shipdham Road, Westfield Road and Westfield Lane'.

He outlined his concerns about the project which include:

• The serious concerns of his constituents, and town and local councillors;

• The fact that 200 objections had been submitted when the original proposal for the development was rejected;

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• Traffic problems in Dereham, and 'the fact parts of the town regularly come to a standstill during peak times of the day';

• The sustainability of Dereham as a functioning community;

• Concern that pollution from the site will flow into a river;

• Urban sprawl leading to a hard edge to Dereham;

• And planning applications in mid Norfolk being out of keeping with the rural nature of the area.

Mr Freeman said: 'The rapid growth and expansion of Norwich creates a huge opportunity for Dereham in the next decade to become again a thriving market town and a destination of choice for visitors from Norwich as well as the surrounding area.

'But the lack of a town plan or any proper transport link to the A47 means that house dumping like that proposed for Westfield risk congestion in Toftwood and more pressure on local infrastructure.

'We need a town plan.'

The application for the 291 homes was submitted by planning consultancy firm Lanpro, on behalf of developer Glavenhill Strategic Land, was initially rejected by Breckland in January but a revised application has now been recommended for approval.

Lanpro were approached for comment but did not respond ahead of publication.