Controversial housing application for 51 homes submitted by council
PUBLISHED: 16:29 09 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:55 21 May 2019
Swaffham Town Council
Controversial plans for dozens of new homes in Swaffham have been submitted for approval by the town council.
Plans to build 51 dwellings in Days Field, on New Sporle Road, have been brought before the district council by the town council, which owns the vacant plot.
An application for outline planning permission for the former allotment site, including access from the road, was received by Breckland Council last month, and agreed at a town council meeting on Wednesday, May 8.
The scheme has faced opposition since it was first proposed, with a residents' forum set up with the aim of preventing the plans moving ahead, after it was revealed the council was considering applying for a £6 million cash injection from the Public Works Loan Board to develop the 2.17 hectare site.
The application states the site has been unused since 2008 and the council received a section 8 permission to dispose of it.
It also described the site as "sustainably located on the edge of a sizeable market town" and "within reasonable distance of shops, public transport, medical facilities, and employment".
The development will retain the hedges at the site's perimeter, intended to "avoid the danger of Days Field being subsumed into a formless urban sprawl."
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A total of 25pc of the housing will be affordable homes, with 21 four bed houses, 13 three bed houses, nine two bed houses and eight one bed flats built using "sustainable sources" and "recycled and local materials".
The application comes under the Breckland Local Plan, which needs 612 new houses to be built in the district each year, in order to reach the minimum 15,300 homes required by 2036, as well as the emerging Swaffham Neighbourhood Plan, which needs 1,600 homes by the same year.
Newly-elected mayor Jill Skinner said: "Some of the people that actually objected are on the council this time - I would imagine during the next year there will be open discussions about it all.
"I've got an open view about it - I'm middle of the road on this one.
"We've got to take into account what people think, but the previous mayor and council were doing it for the benefit of the town rather than any other reason."
Mrs Skinner said the decision to apply for the £6m public works loan hadn't been made, but that it "hopefully will be on the table when it comes to the discussion."