Divisions over Walpole Cross Keys pub plan

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Outline proposals for new homes and a sewage works on the site of an old village pub have been opposed by planners.

Community leaders have supported the scheme for the site of the former Woolpack premises in Walpole Cross Keys, even though most residents who have commented are against the scheme.

And members of the West Norfolk Council planning committee have been urged to reject the scheme at a meeting today, Monday, June 2.

Applicants Westways Estate Agents are seeking permission for a sewage treatment plant, eight new homes, 22 car parking spaces and additional parking for the nearby village school on the site. The existing buildings on the site would be demolished to make way for the new development.

An officers’ report to the committee, published on Friday, showed that both the village parish council and North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham back the proposal.

Mr Bellingham said that while it was sad that the pub would close “the time has come to face up to reality and allow the site to be developed in a sympathetic way”.

Meanwhile, the parish council argues that there are no “solid grounds” to object.

And a statement from the primary school said the scheme would solve some of their parking problems.

It added: “Currently the site is derelict and the plan can only improve the visual outlook and add to the sustainability of both the community and the school.”

But planning officers, who argue that the plan breaches policy guidelines, say the application is very similar to a previous proposal which was rejected by a Government planning inspector in August 2010.

And 23 objectors who have written to the council have dubbed the scheme a “housing estate”, which they say is not in keeping with the village.