Housing bid blocked over foul sewage fears

A computer-generated image of how the proposed development in Hindringham could look. 

A computer-generated image of how the proposed development in Hindringham could look. - Credit: planning documents/design and access statement

A ruling on whether a small new estate can be built in a north Norfolk village has been deferred because of concerns over foul sewage.

Members of North Norfolk District Council's development committee voted unanimously to block the plans for 12 homes in Wells Road in Hindringham, near Fakenham, "pending a resolution of the foul water and drainage issues with Anglian Water."

Councillors also agreed to ask the developer,  Broadland Development Services, to look again at the design and reduced the number of homes by one so that the site was less "pinched". 

Richard Kershaw, Liberal Democrat candidate for Priory in the 2019 North Norfolk District Council el

Richard Kershaw, the ward councillor for Priory on North Norfolk District Council. - Credit: Supplied by Richard Kershaw

Richard Kershaw, ward councillor for Priory, said he met with Anglia Water last year and it was agreed remedial works were needed, but the problem had not yet been fixed. 

Speaking at the June 29 committee meeting, Mr Kershaw said that on February 21 this year "water and effluent was overflowing with force from inspection covers up to 2ft high in a fountain, and running into drainage ditches and then into the River Stiffkey."

He said there was no surface water in the fields at the time, suggesting there was a pipe blockage. Mr Kershaw said it would be "irresponsible and environmentally damaging" to proceed with the works until the problem was solved.

Another councillor, Nigel Pearce, added: "I think Anglian Water has got to get its act together. We are in the process of trying to get social housing in as many villages as possible and we are going to come up against this problem time and time again."

Nigel Pearce

NNDC councillor Nigel Pearce.

The development was to include seven  'affordable' homes and one intended to be a shared-ownership dwelling.

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Ed Mumford-Smith, head of development at Broadland group - north Norfolk's second-largest social landlord - said: "This design reflects our desire to reduce social isolation by developing single-story buildings and bungalows around courtyards to allow interaction between local people."

Other concerns were raised over the loss of hedgerow, traffic and a reptile survey, which was done just weeks after the site was mown.   

An Anglian Water spokesman said engineers had been carrying out 'CCTV work' to check the network in Hindringham was working as it should. 

This work was paused due to bad weather during winter, and they had been unable to access a pipeline which runs through farmland and woodland.

The spokesman said they were now working with the land owners so they could access the land after the crops were harvested. He said no issues or blockages had so far been found.