Council puts new houses on hold after ‘fanciful’ proposal
PUBLISHED: 11:07 22 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:07 22 January 2020
Plans for new Norfolk homes are put on hold after a town council rejected an alternative proposal on a footpath
Lovell Homes have been sent back to the drawing board after Fakenham Town Council rejected an application to sell 12 houses after plans to build a new footpath fell through.
The original plans were accepted, which would have allowed Lovell to sell the homes before work started on the footpath. The path would have linked their housing estate on Rudham Stile Lane to an existing footpath on Grove Lane.
But permission to build a raised footpath was refused after owners of the old railway bridge feared the path would 'narrow the roadway and the risk of vehicles damaging their walls.'
The council also rejected an alternative plan to re-route an existing footpath which would link Rudham Stile Lane with Fakenham Academy via Grove Lane and North Park.
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In response to the alternative route, the council said: "It understands and sympathises with Lovell's wish to help its cash flow in this significant development. However, it totally rejects Lovell's proposal to provide an alternative pedestrian route to Fakenham Academy."
"The alternative route is longer and less direct than the Rudham Stile Lane pathway approved in the original planning application. FTC believes that it is fanciful to think that students will do other than take the more direct route."
A spokesperson for Fakenham Academy Norfolk said: "We strongly support any provisions that assist our pupils in travelling safely to and from the academy, whether in relation to new developments or existing housing."
"We are always happy to work with partners to help achieve this and hope that a suitable solution can be found in this particular case."
The council said that they would not support the request from Lovell unless they revert to the original plan, but they would accept a temporary solution of a red painted path on the surface of the bridge.
Simon Medler, regional managing director at Lovell, said: "We are working closely with North Norfolk District Council to find a resolution that allows the families waiting to move into their new homes to be able to do so as soon as possible, whilst providing the required highways improvements."