Nearly 200 homes given seal of approval for second time

Plans for 185 new homes off Norwich Road in Swaffham have officially been approved. Picture: Google

Plans for 185 new homes off Norwich Road in Swaffham have officially been approved. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

An application to build 185 homes has been given the green light - more than three years after proposals were initially approved.

MLN Land and Properties' plan for a major development off Norwich Road, Swaffham, was provisionally granted by Breckland Council's planning committee in June 2016.

In the intervening period, section 106 paperwork - containing conditions to be agreed upon by the council and developer - has been drafted, but not yet finalised by MLN and its estate agent, Knights.

Due to the length of time since the committee's original resolution, interested parties including Swaffham Town Council (STC) had to be re-consulted and the application was referred back to Breckland for ratification.

In the consultation, STC raised concerns over the presence of a historic footpath in the middle of the site, stating the path needed to be maintained and the layout of the site changed to accommodate it.

At this week's planning committee meeting, Swaffham town councillor Les Scott said: "We have not objected to this application, but our comments cover the footpath through the centre of the site.

"This footpath has historical significance and no explanation has been given as to why it needs to be moved. We are minded not to object to moving it if it is necessary to do so."

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He added: "We acknowledge the applicant's willingness to preserve the site plan with the view of the church tower.

"We would also like to ask the developer to consider putting in cabling for electric charging points because the cost of putting it in later would be significant."

Speaking at the meeting, Ben Weatherley from Knights called the plan a "very sustainable" development that would address a "shortfall" in housing in Swaffham.

"It provides an appropriate transition between the town and the countryside, and a mix of housing to meet local needs," said Mr Weatherley. "We have addressed to their satisfaction all matters raised by planning officers.

"We hope the committee will support the proposals and the resulting benefit is that the homes will be built swiftly."

On behalf of the applicant, Mr Weatherley agreed to assess the town council's requests.

Planning permission was unanimously granted by the planning committee.