Buttercross, July 10, 2015: Swaffham must draw up housing plan

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Of increasing concern around our town is the push for more housing development, apparently without a sensibly agreed plan.

It was interesting to see recently that Brandon has produced such a plan. It will need considerable discussion, as it is only a first draft, but there is the hope it will be acted on within 15 years.

A real item of note here was the understanding a relief road was needed to take the traffic pressure from its town centre. It would also provide the base for the necessary infrastructure for further development.

We can, perhaps rightly, assume that we in Swaffham are no different to Brandon and we ought to be following their timeframe, in place of the present “scatter gun” approach we are presently being subjected to. A green field lost over there, another one somewhere else, and none of it joined up. Obviously any infrastructure can then be properly planned.

It is small wonder that our drainage systems, water supplies, power network, road system and so on is ever more stretched, found to be wanting, or is very expensive to amend or expand.

Already noises are being heard concerning the state of our town’s sewage and storm water systems. Many will know it was once common practice to combine storm water drainage with the sewerage system. Our town is unlikely to be any different.

Modern systems separate the two but undoubtedly we still have a lot of drainage where storm water and sewage share one system.Until these are identified and separated overflows and bursts will continue, even before any further housing is added.

It would be no small surprise to learn our water supply company, who control both our clean and dirty water, do not actually know the accurate location of some drainage. The only certain fact known is that in most cases the two systems, the older ones at least, come together at our sewage works.

This column has been advocating for some time that such building should occur to the east and west of us, where a relief road would certainly be constructed.

We need to get away from the poor old A1065 where we are constantly adding more housing, and stretching our existing infrastructure, ever further from our town centre. Soon we will be stubbing our toes on the base of the old tin hut, or at the south end we will be saying a quiet hello to Hilborough. A far from ideal scenario surely.