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Fears as decision looms on major Downham homes proposal

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Plans for hundreds of new homes on the edge of Downham have "no resemblance" to what was originally envisaged in the area, community leaders claim.

Detailed proposals for 300 homes between its southern bypass, Nightingale Lane and Denver Hill are set to be examined by councillors next week, nearly four years after outline plans were given the go-ahead on appeal.

West Norfolk Council planning officials are backing the latest scheme from Prosperity Homes Broadoaks Limited and Koto Limited.

Planning Applications (1887694)
Planning Applications (1887694)

But Downham's town council claims what is now on the agenda is very different from what a government inspector gave the green light to in 2018.

Its submission to the borough said: "The Council feel that the new layout and proposal bares no resemblance to the original concept and that this should be a new application, not an amendment."

It also claimed the designs of the planned homes were not in keeping with the town's character, while parish councillors in Denver are also worried about the implications for their community.

And more than 60 letters of objection have been submitted to the borough council by members of the public, compared to just five of support.

The developers say there has been an "extensive process" of reviewing the scheme since the reserved matters application was submitted last year.

But it maintained: "The proposal is considered to achieve an outstanding standard of design and will result in an attractive neighbourhood environment which will be a positive addition to the local area and will create a desirable place to live."

Borough planning officials also reported the proposals had "scored positively as a high-quality development" in an independent assessment.

They added: "The proposed form and layout of the scheme respects the characteristics of the locality, both in terms of the existing built form but also the landscape and ecology requirements."

The scheme is due to be discussed during a meeting of West Norfolk Council's planning committee next Monday, April 4, at Lynn town hall.

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