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Housing plan for old Ashill industrial site backed by officials

Planning (2813636)
Planning (2813636)

A former industrial site in a village near Swaffham could be developed for housing if plans are given the go-ahead next week.

Developers are seeking permission to convert the old Ashill Precision Engineering building, on Swaffham Road, Ashill, into a house and build a second home there as part of the scheme.

And members of Breckland Council's planning committee have been recommended to approve the scheme when they meet in Dereham on Monday.

A report, which was published this week, ahead of the meeting, said the site had been left empty since the company relocated in February last year.

The development has been opposed by the nearby Fountain of Life Church, which fears its activities could cause disturbance to any potential residents, as well as posing difficulties for its own operations.

The church said events can take place at its premises seven days a week and attract up to 250 people.

But planning officers said the potential drawbacks of the application were outweighed by the positive contribution it would make towards the district's current lack of a five year land supply.

Because of that, the council is meant to determine applications with a presumption in favour of "sustainable development."

The report concluded: "Whilst there would be a reliance on the car to access services, the amount of vehicle movement would not be dissimilar to that associated with the former employment use.

"There are no other assessed unacceptable impacts and, given the small contribution the development could make to the housing land supply and the vitality of Ashill village, in terms of the overall planning balance the development is considered acceptable."

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