Council unveils development ideas for Swaffham

Mangate Street, Swaffham, the scene near the Sacred Heart School following an accident on Monday ANL-150403-204118009
Mangate Street, Swaffham, the scene near the Sacred Heart School following an accident on Monday ANL-150403-204118009
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Details of Swaffham’s potential future development have been set out at a consultation event in the town.

The drop-in session at the Assembly Rooms yesterday is part of a wider consultation on Breckland Council’s ideas for development over the next 20 years.

The authority says 910 new homes are likely to be needed in Swaffham by 2036.

That is around six per cent of the total requirement for the whole district of more than 14,000.

However, most of those properties, 787, have either been built or already have planning permission.

And several residents voiced concerns about what they saw as a lack of clarity over the status of proposed development lands near to them.

But the town’s deputy mayor Paul Darby, who is also one of its district council representatives, urged people to look beyond the effect of the proposals on their immediate areas.

He said: “You have got to look at the whole picture.”

Fellow town and district councillor Shirley Matthews said she wanted to see a suitable level of development for the current size of the town.

She added: “As long as we grow in proportion, that’s what counts.”

But residents have already raised concerns about whether the town’s existing drainage and transport infrastructure can cope with current and future development.

And Mr Darby reiterated the view he expressed at last week’s town council meeting that a new relief road should be sought in order to relieve pressure on the A1065 which runs through the town centre.

He said: “The more noise we make, the more likely we are to get something done about it eventually.

“The more houses that come, the harder it’s going to be to get from one side of the town to the other.”

Around two-thirds of the total housing proposed in the plan is centred around the towns of Attleborough and Thetford, where 4,000 and 5,000 additional properties are envisaged respectively.

But a number of villages, including Litcham, Narborough, Necton and Weeting are also likely to see new homes built, as they have been designated as key service centres which can sustain such development.

Public consultation on the proposals continues until February 22.

To have your say, visit http://consult.breckland.gov.uk/portal