A “batty” application to build 260 homes in Heacham was refused due to concerns over traffic and the location.
West Norfolk Council’s planning committee threw out the Broadland Housing Association and Townsfolk Ltd application after hearing worries about the impact of the Heacham Green development, on health services and the village.
More than 100 people crowded into Lynn Town hall yesterday for the debate on the plans to put up 200 homes, 60 sheltered housing units, a pub, community building and skate park off the A149.
Zipha Christopher told the meeting that the short journey between Snettisham and Heacham can already take 30 minutes in the summer due to traffic on the A149.
She said: “This is going to become another rat run through the middle of this estate. It seems to me that it is batty. The battiest application we have ever had.”
Heacham ward member Andrew Morrison also raised the traffic issue and that sewage already floods into the village which makes it “look like parts of Calcutta”.
Adrian Lawrence added: “I think common sense should prevail and we should listen to people who live in the area. Yes we do need developments but they need to be in proportion and in the right area.”
Ian Gourlay said there was a need for nursing care accommodation at an affordable price but felt this was the wrong location.
He said: “I wish they could go away and find another site and build it there.”
Prior to the councillors’ debate, Michael Press told the meeting that the development would place “exceptional demands” on the Heacham Group Practice.
Mr Press, chairman of the patient participation group, said the surgery’s roll would go up by 15 per cent.
He said: “More patients can only seriously dilute the current service.”
Resident Terence Parish raised concerns about wildlife as the site attracts curlews along with the impact of increased traffic on the roads surrounding the site.
Parish council chairman Peter Colvin emphasised the strength of local opposition and problems with its access road on the A149.
He said: “Those living on Heacham Green would be trapped on the estate and making their lives a misery.”
Chartered surveyor for the applicant Nicole La Rond stated that there was a great need for developments like this in West Norfolk while Broadland’s Andrew Savage said this scheme would provide 60 affordable homes.
Ward members Colin Manning and Stephanie Smeaton spoke out against the scheme.
North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, speaking after the debate, welcomed the decision: “I think the village spoke with one voice. All the elected representatives were against it and it was completely out of keeping with a village that has already expanded almost to its limits.
“I would urge the developers to either re-submit a much smaller application or go somewhere else.”