Locals object to plans for new homes in Burnham Overy Staithe

Burnham Overy Staithe at dusk. Natural England is proposing to make some parts of the salt marshes h

Burnham Overy Staithe at dusk. Natural England is proposing to make some parts of the salt marshes here not accessible to the public. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Plans to build five new homes in a one of the most sought-after villages on the Norfolk coast have been withdrawn, after neighbours and the parish council raised objections.

Developers had sought permission to construct the properties on land off Gong Lane, at Burnham Overy Staithe, near Wells.

But locals opposed the scheme, saying there was no need for new housing in the village and that it was unlikely the homes would be occupied by locals. Other raised concerns about the impact on road safety.

Burnham Overy Staithe is one of the number of villages in the area with a high proportion of second homes.

The developers had argued that the application should be approved by councillors as it would help meet local and government housing targets.

They said there was "a sound argument in favour" and that highways concerns which had been raised in response to previous plans to build on the site had been addressed.

But Burnham Overy Staithe Parish Council objected, saying there was no material difference between the proposal and one which had been turned down in 2021.

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It said: "The development does not meet the needs of the community or increase the vitality of the village."

And it added it would also have an "unacceptable impact on highway safety".

Seventeen villagers objected, with most citing the unsafe junction with the main A149.

Cornelia Fitzroy said: "This is the fifth attempt to develop the site after previous applications were refused or withdrawn.

"The road access onto the main coast road the A149 is extremely dangerous as was highlighted in previous reports.the junction is substandard and visibility is compromised.

Michael Sheridan added: "Please refuse this application. Its submission is bordering on abuse of process at a time when the local planning authority's resources are stretched, and it appears to be the case that repeated applications are being made with the sole intention of wearing down respondents. The exact same application has been refused once and should be refused again."

Julien Sheridan added: "There is no real justification for more housing in Burnham Overy Staithe. There will be no more employment in the village created by this new housing."

And Kate Straker said: "It is unlikely that any new houses would be meeting local needs as if they are sold on the open market they are unlikely to be bought by locals."

Norfolk County Council's highways officer recommended refusal on safety grounds. The application was withdrawn on July 5.