Pollution costs warning over homes bid for old Stoke Ferry garage site

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Cleaning up the site of an old village petrol station could make plans for nearly 30 new homes there unviable, a report has claimed.

Officials say the scheme for 29 properties at the site on Lynn Road, Stoke Ferry, next to the village hall, should be approved, subject to the completion of legal agreements.

But an assessment published ahead of a West Norfolk Council planning meeting on Monday said the requirements to be placed on the applicant, Stoke Ferry Regeneration Ltd, should be reduced because of the need to clear fuel and asbestos from the site.

The report said: “The site is a heavily contaminated brownfield site and the contamination costs advanced are conservative at best and are likely to significantly increase.

“With this in mind, officers consider that the provision of affordable housing, on this occasion, should not be required.”

Developers proposing a scheme of this size would normally be required to designate 20 per cent of the homes it builds as affordable.

In this case, the applicants will also be required to make a contribution of more than £80,000 towards provision at the All Saints Academy, plus around £2,000 towards the village’s mobile library service.

The developer has also agreed to make a separate £20,000 contribution towards improvements to the village hall itself. A new car park for the hall is further proposed within the scheme.

County roads officials have warned the layout of the development is likely to increase risks to motorists, because of the possibility of on-street parking outside four of the homes, which are close to a bend.

Although they have not raised an objection to the scheme, they said they were “disappointed” the applicant had not sought to address their concerns.

But the application has been backed by the village’s parish council, though members did raise concerns over a possible under-estimation of the number of school places needed, the environmental assessment of the site and the timing of works on the hall car park.