Housing estate could save Great Bircham says parish council chairman

Visitors Guide scenes of Gt Bircham - the village sign.
Visitors Guide scenes of Gt Bircham - the village sign.
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A housing development could help to rejuvenate a village, residents have told planners.

Great Bircham Parish Council chairman Robert Hutchinson and resident Dawn Marie Bird supported an application to build 12 homes in the village to help reverse its fortunes.

West Norfolk Council’s planning committee approved a scheme to put up 12 detached houses, which include a mix of two, three and four-bedroomed homes, in Long Meadow, Fring Road.

Speaking at Monday’s meeting, Mr Hutchinson said the majority of residents were in favour the application.

He said: “Great Bircham has declined from being a thriving community where people bring up families and use all the facilities to one where the Post Office has closed. There is not enough support for the pub, clubs and shop who are in need of more customers and the school has the lowest pupil rate in Norfolk.

“We have got facilities in Great Bircham but don’t have enough people in the village to keep them going.

“No family homes have been built in the village for far too long. This would be an asset to the village and a step towards rejuvenation.”

But another parish councillor Malcolm Sargent spoke out against the plan by raising concerns about speeding and the homes ending up as second homes.

He said; “This type of residential property is not going to be affordable or serve the needs of the village.”

Councillors sitting on the planning committee raised concerns about the size of the gardens, trees and visibility for drivers on a nearby bend.