More homes set for Clenchwarton site at centre of High Court battle

Former Fosters S&SC site at Clenchwarton ANL-150713-090746009

Former Fosters S&SC site at Clenchwarton ANL-150713-090746009

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A new bid to build dozens of homes on a village sports field at the centre of a major legal battle will be debated next week.

Developers are seeking outline permission for 40 properties on part of the Fosters Sports Ground site in Clenchwarton, after a High Court judge backed an earlier proposal for the land last summer.

But community leaders in the village have called for assurances they will not have to maintain road and drainage provision if the development is allowed.

The new application from Elm Park Holdings Ltd aims to develop the northern part of the site after a High Court judge upheld its plans for the remainder of the land last July.

West Norfolk Council’s bid to block that plan, which it had initially refused planning permission for, was rejected after the court supported a planning inspector’s view that it could not prove it had an adequate supply of housing land.

Planning officials say the latest application should be approved if legal agreements relating to affordable housing, open play space, school and library provision are completed within three months, or refused if not.

In their report to the committee, officers acknowledged the site is in the highest risk category for flooding, but said it could be made safe without harming neighbouring residents.

They added: “On balance, it is considered that the harm caused by the development would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.”

Parish councillors say they accept the scheme will have to be approved following the High Court ruling, but say strict conditions need to be put in place if it is.

They said: “It must be a condition that all roads, footpaths, street lighting, all green areas and any

surface water attenuation ponds on the site are suitably maintained, repaired and financed by the developer or the Borough Council, by Norfolk Country Council, or Anglian Water in perpetuity and do not become the responsibility of the Parish Council.”

They also want any money made from affordable housing contributions to be spent in the village.

Meanwhile, Norfolk County Council is seeking investment of around £11,000 towards 10 additional places at the village’s primary school, as well as a further £2,400 for improved library provision.

Sport England has also objected to the proposals, because of the loss of sports space and called for suitable alternatives to be provided.

But planners point out that the site has not been used for sport for many years and say little weight should be attached to that objection.

The planning committee meeting takes place next Monday, January 11, at 9.30am at the council offices in Chapel Street, Lynn.