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Industrial site in Dereham gets go ahead for 100 homes

PUBLISHED: 09:44 02 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:34 02 August 2017

Concerns were raised about an increase of traffic on Westfield Road

Concerns were raised about an increase of traffic on Westfield Road

Archant

A bid to build 100 homes on employment land in Dereham has finally been approved, despite a previous refusal and dismissal at appeal.

Aerial view of the site where 100 new homes will be built off Westfield Road.  Image: Google MapsAerial view of the site where 100 new homes will be built off Westfield Road. Image: Google Maps

And the decision has left campaigners “disappointed” and concerned about traffic implications on an already busy road network.

Trustees of the GR Scott Will reapplied to Breckland Council for outline permission for the homes on land off Westfield Road in Toftwood, behind the Rash’s Green industrial estate.

It was allocated as employment land and a change of use to residential was refused as planners felt it should be retained and marketed for employment use.

But at an appeal earlier this year the inspector considered that it only failed in giving sufficient confidence that the affordable housing could be delivered.

He said the scheme was acceptable in all other respects including the loss of the site as employment land.

The new application offered 40 per cent affordable housing and was approved by planners on Monday.

The report to the committee said a Section 106 Agreement was being drafted to include obligations regarding the provision of the affordable housing, on site public open space and financial contributions to improve local schools (approximately £302,744), library services (£7,350) and medical practice facilities (£31,520).

Dereham Town Council had raised concerns about traffic impact, particularly on Westfield Road and Shipdham Road, but Breckland’s planning office concluded that safe access could be provided to the development through a new road, at 51 Westfield Road.

The report said: “No significant adverse effects on local road conditions would result from increased traffic.”

Kirsty Heath, member of campaign group TLC (Toftwood Life Community), said they now feared extra vehicle movements would make life even worse for residents.

“Obviously we are very disappointed with the decision,” she said.

“I don’t believe that the traffic/highways impact has been thoroughly thought about.

“We would also like to see some green space, perhaps a contribution with upgrading the play park on the corner of School Lane.”

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