Fears for elderly residents as Downham Market housing scheme is rejected

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A housing scheme in Downham has been blocked amid fears over the potential impact on residents of nearby sheltered accommodation.

Developers had been seeking permission to build 19 new homes on Prince Henry Place.

But the scheme was turned down by West Norfolk Council’s planning committee on Monday, with concerns over the impact on nearby residents at the forefront of the decision.

The site backs onto a sheltered housing complex for elderly residents and Tony Bubb said: “It’s too much disturbance to the people who live there.”

Geoffrey Wareham said he would be minded to support a development of bungalows on the site, but not the larger homes that were proposed.

He added: “We’re in danger of missing the point. The houses that are going to go in there bear no relation to the houses around there.”

Concerns were also raised about the potential impact of the scheme on the junction between Howdale Road and Church Road, which the meeting heard was already busy.

But officials said the application also included plans to improve the junction by providing a turning lane from Church Road and increased visibility from Howdale Road, while county highways officers had not voiced objections to the scheme.

Stuart Ashworth, assistant director of environment and planning, said: “It’s a good site. I can’t see any objections to it. It provides junction improvements and 19 houses.”

However, Downham town mayor Frank Daymond told the committee: “The junction is bad enough at the moment, so goodness knows what it’s going to be like in time to come if this is passed.”

He added that the town council had twice opposed the application.