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Downham Market planning permission deferred after West Norfolk councillors vote against application

Plans to build 19 new houses in Downham were deferred by the West Norfolk borough council after concerns were voiced over traffic and the impact on elderly residents' lives.

A planning application for land south of the Prince Henry Place estate had initially been accepted, but was voted down by 10 votes to six during a borough planning committee meeting on Monday morning.

Chairman of the committee, councillor Chris Crofts, suggested the application should be deferred and consultants should come back with more information on the proposal.

Resident speakers told the committee of their concerns over the impact on those currently living at Prince Henry Place, who were described as mostly "house bound" and with some of them being diagnosed with dementia.

An application for 19 new houses next to Prince Henry Place was rejected by a West Norfolk planning committee on Monday
An application for 19 new houses next to Prince Henry Place was rejected by a West Norfolk planning committee on Monday

Speaker Ronald Jordan said: "Residents on Prince Henry Place should be able to live their remaining years in peace and quiet which is why many of them moved there in the first place."

The impact of traffic at the Church Road and London Road junction due to extra cars from the proposed properties was also raised.

Councillor Shimit Patel, whose ward is Downham Old Town, described it as the "Devil's junction."

"There are many accidents there and it is eventually going to cause a fatality," Mr Patel said.

"With something like 38 more cars coming down this road, there are going to be a lot more accidents in the future and I cannot support an application that will lead to a fatality."

Councillor Don Tyler, who represents South Downham, said the workers and ensuing daily traffic would cause issues for existing residents.

He said: "I can't for the life of me see the merit in causing a great deal of disruption to residents. I cannot support this application on humanitarian grounds."

And councillor Terry Parish added that the front gardens are like "living rooms" for existing residents at Princes Henry Place so added noise would not be welcomed.

Ian Hale, the agent for the application, said no objections had been raised by the Air Quality report or Highways.

He also said there was no significant loss of habitat through the application.

The application was rejected by 10 votes to six by those on the planning committee.

Councillor Bob Lawton cited "vulnerable people living there" and councillor Christine Hudson said the site was "too crowded" when officers pressed the committee on reasons for refusal.

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