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Fakenham 900 homes plan back on the cards

PUBLISHED: 06:05 30 October 2014

Part of the site for the Fakenham Growth plans on Rudham Stile Lane. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Part of the site for the Fakenham Growth plans on Rudham Stile Lane. Picture: Matthew Usher.

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A major development plan which could see 900 homes built in Fakenham has been thrust back into the spotlight.

North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) planning team went back to the drawing board to produce their vision for how an 85-hectare site between Rudham Stile Lane and the A148 could be developed after too many fundamental issues were raised.

Concerns included the impact of traffic on the existing highway network and the use of green space.

The brief had been put on the back-burner for the best part of two years - but now planners have come forward with a fresh design which they believe addresses previously voiced concerns.

People had until Monday to put forward their final views and more than 20 people responded to the call.

The authority’s major development team will now collate the comments to compile a report to go before NNDC’s planning policy and built heritage working party on November 17.

NNDC’s planning policy manager Mark Ashwell said: “We had two or three issues that we weren’t happy with on the first brief - traffic circulation was one of them and remains an issue to date.

“Another was whether green open space was being included in relation to the schools in the area. There hadn’t been a lot of interest in developing the site until now so it has not had the priority. We are broadly happy with the brief now.”

He added: “This site has been earmarked for this scale of development for a long time. It’s about how it should be developed. There’s local concern about traffic circulation and that’s an area we need to look at carefully.”

Under the plans, the Trinity College Cambridge-owned site would be allocated for up to 900 homes, 45 per cent of which would be affordable, and amenities including a new primary school, community centre, nursery, industrial development and shops.

Once the brief is agreed by NNDC’s cabinet, there will be a process of dealing with individual planning applications on the site. The masterplan is for development between now and 2021.

Fakenham Town Council’s development and market committee discussed the brief at their meeting this month, but it is yet to be approved by the town council.

Issues raised at the committee meeting included traffic flow, and councillors said they wanted NNDC to require site owners Trinity College Cambridge to donate a strip of land which they believe will be needed to widen Rudham Stile Lane.

Fakenham town councillor George Acheson, chairman of the development committee, said: “We accepted the development because it’s been on the books for a long time and has been passed before in principle but we are concerned about traffic flow.

“I’m told that highways have said that no improvements of Rudham Stile Lane are needed but if they block off Water Moor Lane then all the traffic which currently uses Water Moor Lane to get to the school will use Rudham Stile Lane so it will need to be upgraded as it’s a totally inadequate road.”

He also said more pressure would be put on the B1105 Wells Road, both at the junction with the Fakenham Road and near to the Cherry Tree Car Boot site.

What do you think? Write to dft.letters@archant.co.uk

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