Major homes scheme for West Norfolk village backed by officials
Proposals which could see around 100 new homes built in a West Norfolk village are being supported by borough planning officials.
Community leaders, residents and countryside campaigners have united in opposition to the plan to develop two sites in Stoke Ferry, which is due to be debated by councillors next week.
But West Norfolk Council planning officials say the benefits of the proposals outweigh their drawbacks.
Up to 70 properties are proposed for land south west of Lynn Road, with 30 more envisaged for the Furlong Store site on Furlong Drove.
Officials have recommended that the plans, submitted by Amber REI Limited, should be approved subject to the completion of legal agreements, or refused if deals relating to affordable housing and other issues are not completed by November.
But opponents say they are worried the plans could be a prelude to even more development in the future.
Among the critics is the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, who say the Lynn Road site should not be built upon as it is outside the development boundary.
The group said: “The council has a five year supply of land for housing and sufficient sites have been allocated without the need for additional unallocated sites, such as the proposed application site, being developed.”
Dozens of residents, along with the village’s parish council, have also objected to the proposals, on grounds including the loss of employment from the store site with no immediate prospect of it being replaced.
But in a report published today, planning officers said: “The applicant makes the case that the site is no longer viable for employment uses and there are particular environmental concerns with the location of this site.
“It is clear though that in considering the redevelopment of this site in conjunction with the storage and distribution site on Furlong Drove that there would be benefit to the loss of this particular employment use in the village.”
Members of the borough council’s planning committee will visit the sites ahead of their meeting on Monday.