Last call for Swaffham development comments

The Buttercross in Swaffham. ENGANL00120140402160040
The Buttercross in Swaffham. ENGANL00120140402160040

Time is running out for people in the Swaffham area to have their say on a blueprint for future development over the next 20 years.

A public consultation on the proposals put forward by Breckland Council ends at 4pm this Monday, February 22.

But officials are keen to stress that the development of the ideas is still in its early stages.

A spokesman for the authority said this week: “Nothing has been decided yet and all the sites put forward remain options.

“This is the time for residents, businesses and community groups to have their say on plans that will shape the future growth of Breckland,”

The document is intended to set out where development is most likely to be permitted across the Breckland district over the next two decades.

It envisages that 910 additional homes will be needed in Swaffham in the period up to 2036, although nearly 800 of those have either been completed, been granted planning permission or are already allocated in existing development plans.

Eighteen sites around Swaffham are assessed within the document with 10, mostly to the north and east of the town, being deemed as suitable for development.

However, more than two-thirds of the housing proposed in the documents is planned around Attleborough and Thetford.

The proposed growth around Swaffham and the district’s other main towns of Dereham and Watton accounting for a further 18 per cent combined

But some residents have raised concerns about the ability of Swaffham’s drainage and road networks to cope with large-scale development in the coming years.

More than 100 people attended a drop-in session held at the Assembly Rooms last month, where issues relating to affordable housing and accessibility to the town centre were also discussed.

Hundreds more have attended similar events around the district in recent weeks. The latest such session was held at the village hall in Necton last week.

Further information about the plan can be found at www.breckland.gov.uk/local-plan-consultation.