Town welcomes 950-home plans but traffic and school concerns remain

A plan of how the new Fakenham development could look.

A plan of how the new Fakenham development could look. The pub and hotel would be in the north-west corner (dark blue) the school and shops would be in the centre (in purple and yellow) - Credit: NNDC/Planning documents

A major expansion to Fakenham has been welcomed by the community - but concerns have been raised over the impact on roads and infrastructure

The development is set to bring 950 new homes to the region, along with a new primary school, a hotel, retail and a roundabout to link onto the A148 bypass, and will change the face of the town.

On Friday, it was officially rubber-stamped by North Norfolk District Council after a £7m developer contribution to the community was thrashed out.

While many have welcomed the plans, there is some hesitation over some elements of the development.

Richard Crook with his dog, Benji.

Richard Crook with his dog, Benji. - Credit: Richard Crook

Richard Crook, chairman of Active Fakenham, said: “In principle, the expansion of the town is a good thing.

"People need somewhere to live, and Fakenham has a lot to offer. Increasing the size of the town could improve facilities and offer new opportunities to everyone... It seems to be vitally important that the necessary infrastructure and supporting services are installed in good time.

“My concerns are, will the schools, health services and other vital infrastructure and public services be properly funded and thought through before the building starts?”

Heather De Lyon, a Fakenham resident said: “People need to live somewhere and we have built far fewer new homes in recent years than in the past despite the increasing population.

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“My concern is how affordable will they be for local people and what percentage will become second homes?"

She added: “I am also concerned about the impact on travel safety. The ring road is now something of a nightmare in the summer with accidents and near accidents. Access to the new housing needs to be given a lot of consideration.”

Steve Blatch talking to Fakenham town councillor regarding the UK Community Renewal fund.

Fakenham town councillors speaking over Zoom. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Fakenham Town Council said it will support new residents which the development will bring to the town.

“Our town has a long history of adapting to the times," a spokesperson said.

“Whether through the development of new agricultural practices, the engineering inventions of John Cousins Garrood, the arrival and sad departure of printers Cox and Wyman, we are well used to change.

“Fakenham is also well placed geographically to accommodate the additional homes and facilities. If you look at a map of the area, we sit at the hub of a semi-circular length of coastline and the town is equidistant between Norwich and Kings Lynn.

"This makes Fakenham ideally positioned for easy access to both coastal and inland destinations.

“The arrival of all these new homes will mean thousands more residents and jobs, whether short term while the development is built, but in the longer term as well.

“This must be good news for the shops and businesses in Fakenham. 

"We as a council will do our utmost to welcome residents to the town and all its amenities.”