Search

Inquiry gets underway into controversial plans for houses in Watton

PUBLISHED: 15:59 13 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:59 13 June 2017

Members of the What Watton Wants pressure group before the planning inquiry into a bid to build 177 homes in Watton. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

Members of the What Watton Wants pressure group before the planning inquiry into a bid to build 177 homes in Watton. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

Archant

Residents outlined their opposition to a controversial bid to build 177 homes in Norfolk town - as developers said it would bring significant benefits to the area.

Land south of Mallard Road in Watton which is subject to a bid to build 177 homes. Picture: Matthew UsherLand south of Mallard Road in Watton which is subject to a bid to build 177 homes. Picture: Matthew Usher

Tesni Properties’ bid to build the houses and flats on land south of Mallard Road was rejected by a Breckland Council’s planning committee in April 2016, on the grounds of the site’s proximity to a Breckland Special Protection Area (SPA) and its incursion into a stone curlew buffer site.

Tesni launched an appeal and the inquiry, held at Watton Sports Centre, began on Tuesday, June 13.

John Barrett, representing the developer, said it would create 180 full-time jobs over a five-year construction period.

He added that the development would bring “significant benefits” and would be an “inclusive community”, with between 32 to 40pc of the housing being affordable.

But town and district councillor Keith Gilbert said the application was “disgraceful” and the design was a “disgrace to Watton”.

He said it would not suit being built near bungalows.

He added: “There are other areas, especially at the other end of the town, where this sort of development would be appropriate.”

Representing the district council, William Upton said the loss of the green field site would have an impact.

He said: “It is clearly a locally valued area and is well used by people. It has great local value.”

Mr Upton also said the council was concerned about the SPA site and the stone curlews.

More than 50 people attended the morning session and residents raised their issues regarding the development which included construction traffic concerns, inadequate infrastructure and flooding issues.

The inquiry will continue this week and is expected to continue on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

Other news

Work to improve the Buttercross in Swaffham will modernise the town centre and bring it into the 21st century, the town council clerk has said.

13:41

EDP winners choose the name for zoo’s sea lion pup

08:55

In the latest of our profiles on the region’s Young Farmers’ Club members, SERENA CARTER explains how a busy barbecue season has made for a hectic first few months as an apprentice butcher.

Yesterday, 16:00

The Mayor of Watton has praised the community spirit of the town after her charity ball raised more than £4,000.

Most Read

Work to improve the Buttercross in Swaffham will modernise the town centre and bring it into the 21st century, the town council clerk has said.

Read more
Swaffham Town Council
Yesterday, 16:00

The Mayor of Watton has praised the community spirit of the town after her charity ball raised more than £4,000.

Read more
Watton
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

An inspirational young woman who fought off cancer twice in two years and started a trust to help other young people live with the disease has died, aged 22.

Read more
Mon, 13:15

The magic of books was celebrated as the theme of this year’s Watton carnival.

Read more

An attempt to revive a Breckland heritage site has failed after dwindling visitor numbers forced the owners to close the attraction.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 12°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Watton and Swaffham Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy