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‘Great idea, keep the area booming’ - Mixed reaction to plans for new 10,000 home Norfolk town

PUBLISHED: 11:13 22 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:13 22 July 2018

North Elmham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

North Elmham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

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Our exclusive story which revealed plans to be build a new town the size of Thetford in Norfolk has been met with mix reaction on social media.

Norwich based planners Lanpro are preparing a proposal for a new settlement of up to 10,000 homes situated between the villages of North Elmham, Billingford and Bintree, as part of government plans to back new garden towns.

A summary of the project seen by this newspaper describes the proposal for the 1,294 acre site as “the first planned new settlement within Norfolk”.

Here is what some people on our Facebook page had to say about the proposals:

Paul Osborne: “Garden villages sound very quaint but they usually mean plonking a town in prime arable land with little thought given to infrastructure.”

Diane Westwood-Rowland: “More stable land lost. How are we going to feed the population in future? The loss to wildlife will be vast.”

Joy Waddingham: “Apart from another big new ugly estate, using up our food/growing land resources, what about the infrastructure and jobs needed? “Where I live, in an established community we travel miles to a dentist as local ones are full, also there is no local work. There are lots of empty shops in towns, why can these not be renovated as homes?”

Shaun Quinton: “Developments continue to spring up all over Norfolk. How ironic waiting lists for housing doesn’t go down, many local people can’t afford to buy and they continue to build housing without any infrastructure.”

Vincent Jones: “Good stuff. Plenty of employment for years.”

Proinseas O Caoimh: “So we complain about the ongoing homelessness in the county then complain that new houses are going to be built. Can’t have it both ways. Norfolk is one of the largest counties in the country and one of the least populated. No way is it full. Even if the people of Norfolk have families and all remain in Norfolk, new housing would need to be built.”

Neville Edmonston: “Don’t see when there are all these empty business estates doing nothing with electricity and gas. Why we don’t build on them rather than eat into the countryside.”

Sam Cranmer: “Really hope that common sense prevails and a totally ridiculous idea for a development like this never ever goes ahead.”

Nick Barran: “Great idea, keep the area booming. Make sure a new hospital, doctors surgery, three supermarkets, fire station, ambulance station and a swimming pool are built first.”

Nicky Fiszer: “Don’t ruin Norfolk, leave it as it is!”

The timeline and cost for the proposed build is unknown at this stage, as is whether the development would receive any government funding.

Chris Leeming, managing director at Lanpro, said: “We are told the government’s call for sites for new garden towns is imminent, and this proposal will be submitted subject to local planning authority requirements and the government timelines.

“This spot in mid Norfolk has been chosen for the site as we have sifted several suitable areas and this scored the highest on the most criteria.

The size and number of homes to be built is yet to be decided but the aim is to deliver a balanced community with schools, shops and doctors surgeries included in the plans.”

• What do you think about the proposals? Let us know in the comments below.

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