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Town to get cash for sports facilities

PUBLISHED: 17:18 03 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:18 03 September 2018

District councillor Alison Webb believes residents of the new Greenfields development need more outdoor spaces. Picture: Ian Burt

District councillor Alison Webb believes residents of the new Greenfields development need more outdoor spaces. Picture: Ian Burt

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A developer behind plans to build 279 homes in Dereham has agreed to contribute a quarter of a million pounds to tackle a shortage of sports and outdoor play facilities in Dereham.

The development will be built on land at Greenfields, near Dereham Windmill. Picture: Ian BurtThe development will be built on land at Greenfields, near Dereham Windmill. Picture: Ian Burt

The news has brought a mixed response, with some welcoming the contribution but others feeling it doesn’t make up for the 23pc shortfall of outdoor space within the development, to the amount required by planning policy.

Orbit Homes’ controversial plans for land at Greenfields Road, near Dereham Windmill, were granted planning permission in July.

They had previously been turned down primarily due to lack of space within the development which could be used for sporting activities. At Breckland Council’s planning committee meeting on Monday it was confirmed that Orbit Homes will contribute £249,210 to make up for the shortfall.

The money will go to Breckland Council who will work with Dereham Town Council to decide how it is spent.

Dereham Town Council clerk Tony Needham said in the meeting: “When the application first came in, we started off with hardly anything to support. We have finished off with quite a good agreement, not as good as it could have been but it’s acceptable.”

Erica Whettingsteel from Orbit Homes added: “We are more in agreement with the town council than we have been 
before and we’re glad this has been approved.”

However, Breckland councillor Alison Webb said after the meeting: “I think it’s a shame that this space was not allocated on site. All I hope is that the council finds a place near the site so the residents there can use it.”

An application for six new homes in Yaxham was also approved at the meeting, despite opposition from Yaxham Parish Council and the Yaxham Neighbourhood Plan group.

The dwellings will be built on land to the north of Homefield, Dereham Road and were approved in spite of drainage and sustainability issues being raised.

Ian Martin, vice-chairman of the Yaxham Neighbourhood Plan group, said in the meeting: “There is an issue of sustainability. There is only Yaxham Waters, the school and the Indian restaurant and by the time of the development the school will be full.”

However, councillor Pablo Dimoglu spoke in favour of the plan and said: “This site is close to amenities in Yaxham and has excellent road access.”

Plans for 23 homes to be built in Shipdham were again deferred after fears over access to nearby properties were raised by a local resident.

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