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Safety concerns raised over 51-home development in Swaffham

The deputy mayor of Swaffham has voiced concerns over the safety of a site for which the town council has already secured outline planning permission.

Breckland Council received an application from the town council for 51 new houses at the Days Field site on New Sporle Road earlier this month.

But newly-elected deputy mayor Keith Sandle highlighted issues with the entrance of the proposed site during a planning committee meeting on Tuesday.

Mr Sandle, who is an Independent, said the entrance and exit to the site is only wide enough for one car despite being proposed as two-way.

He said: “I drive up and down there every day and that is not wide enough. We are increasing the amount of traffic on that site and people would be queuing in front of that exit. I’m not just going to accept it.”

Newly-elected Judy Anscombe, also questioned the site, referring to a comment by the Norfolk and Waveney Partnership online which said GP surgeries do not have the additional capacity for growth through development.

She said: “The biggest question is air pollution and traffic on what I call the inner ring road around Sporle. My concerns are based on the information that has come into play from external organisations.”

Keith Sandle, pictured right, said the entrance and exit to the site is only wide enough for one car which will cause traffic issues
Keith Sandle, pictured right, said the entrance and exit to the site is only wide enough for one car which will cause traffic issues

Former mayor Colin Houghton said the outline application does not commit the council to anything and it is still an “open discussion”.

He said: “I think some of the points we are straining into would come up further down the line. We would all like to support the services, but the national position seems to work on the principle that the houses come first.

“I personally do not agree with that but I do not think we will be able to overcome that problem. Like everyone I would like to see increased capacity for doctors and dentists first but it does not look like that.”

Town clerk Richard Bishop added: “It [the outline application] does not change what we would do in the future.

“You could build something completely different on that land if you wish.”

Mr Sandle asked if it would be a “conflict of interest” to personally comment on the council’s planning application online.

However, councillor Paul Darby said he would be “wasting his time” to do so.

He said: “The principle of being suitable for housing is in the outline plan. You can only have control over what is on your own land.”


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