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Sites suggested for 3,500 new town homes

PUBLISHED: 15:12 04 June 2008 | UPDATED: 14:35 07 July 2010

Huge swathes of land - which could accommodate more than 3500 new homes - have been put forward for possible development in Dereham.

A total of about 30 sites are included on a list produced by Breckland Council which have potential to be built on over the next 18 years.

Huge swathes of land - which could accommodate more than 3500 new homes - have been put forward for possible development in Dereham.

A total of about 30 sites are included on a list produced by Breckland Council which have potential to be built on over the next 18 years.

The authority is about to embark on a major consultation with local people about the so-called Local Development Framework, which shapes the future of the district up to 2026.

The strategy says Dereham only needs 500-600 new homes - so a battle seems certain between developers about who gets the green light.

Breckland has stressed no decisions have so far been made and people's views will be listened to.

Earlier this year the council asked developers and landowners to suggest sites which they want to see included in the future building programme.

Dereham's largest proposed site is 65 acres bordering Yaxham Road and Dumpling Green submitted by Hopkins Homes which could cater for around 570 homes.

Other sites are either side of the A47 at the east and west of the town, land between Green Lane and Cemetery Road, land around Dereham Town Football Club and land between the current Greenfields estate and the A47 near the windmill.

Land at the back of Breckland Council's offices has also been put forward for employment use.

A total of 15,000 homes need be built across Breckland and 6,000 of them are earmarked for Thetford, which has been given Growth Point Status.

Attleborough will expand rapidly after being designated 4,000 extra properties and other places given rough allocations over the next 18 years are Dereham (500-600), Swaffham (100-200), Watton (200-300), Shipdham (100) and Great Ellingham, Harling, Ellingham, Narborough, Swanton Morley and Weeting (all 50).

Shipdham has 32 sites put forward for development, mostly for housing, including allotment land off Dereham Road submitted by the parish council.

Swanton Morley has three large sites, of about 2.5ha each, put forward by Strutt and Parker, along with a number of smaller sites.

A further 3,000 homes could be created on so-called rural windfall sites - such as barn conversions.

Of the 650 sites put forward across Breckland, 370 have been deemed by planning officers to be “unreasonable” - meaning they are unlikely to be developed.

And a further 100 are “non-conforming” - meaning they would need to be altered before they could fall in line with guidelines.

Many of the “unreasonable” ones are in villages and Philip Cowen said: “Villages need to remain sustainable and are allowed to see growth over time.”

“Breckland is Breckland and is a rural community. If we followed the government's guidelines the only sustainable communities would be Thetford and Attleborough. We heard it from the Post Office and they considered that an urban settlement to be 10,000 people.”

Development control committee chairman Elizabeth Gould agreed. “Villages should be given the chance to grow a bit.”

Ann Steward, Breckland Cabinet member for the environment, stressed the process was at a very early stage and all communities would be given the chance to have their say and help shape their own future.

All the sites put forward are to be put to the council's cabinet on Tuesday and then out to public consultation so people can say what they think about each site.

Copies of the document are not yet available on the website but can be obtained from Breckland Council offices in Dereham.

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