Mill pledge made ahead of second vote on Stoke Ferry homes bid
Developers behind two controversial housing schemes in a West Norfolk village have pledged not to start any building work before an old mill in the area is knocked down.
The commitment is revealed in a new report on the proposals for two sites in Stoke Ferry, which are due to be debated again by councillors next week.
But, despite that, community leaders remain opposed to the plans, claiming transport officials have not properly assessed their potential impact.
A decision on two schemes, which could see up to 100 new homes built, was deferred by West Norfolk Council’s planning committee in July, amid protests by local residents.
They argued developers Amber REI Limited could build the smaller Furlong Store scheme on Furlong Drove, where a maximum of 30 houses are proposed, and leave the larger mill site on Lynn Road as an “eyesore” at the heart of the village.
But a new report, published ahead of the committee’s meeting next Monday, October 7, suggests that issue has now been resolved following talks between their representatives and borough council officials.
It said: “The agent has confirmed that in the interests of expediency their client is prepared to accept a covenant which would link the development of the storage site to a commitment to redevelop the Mill.
“The agent suggests an obligation which states there will be no commencement of development at the storage site until the Mill buildings have been demolished, and include a plan which shows the buildings to be demolished.
“This would restrict the development of the storage site until there is a clear commitment to remove the Mill and associated operations as evidenced by action on the ground in the form of demolition.”
But, despite the commitment, members of Stoke Ferry’s parish council are still opposing the applications and have raised new concerns about the Lynn Road scheme, where up to 70 homes could be built.
They claim there is still a risk of harm to nearby listed buildings and called for specific conditions to ensure they are protected.
And they also feel the provision of just one entry point to the site is not enough.
They said: “We believe the highways consultant has a flawed survey and has not considered there are two junctions around the current proposed entrance site.
“We believe it is imperative for an entrance to be put in at the junction of Lynn Road and Furlong Road and believe this needs further consultation.”
But county roads officials say they have no objection, subject to conditions being imposed relating to visibility, road and footpath standards and the provision of a crossing point.
Meanwhile, planners said controls were already in place to protect the listed buildings.