Swaffham drop-in session to examine future development

Lynn Road Swaffham Water burst flooding the main road. ANL-150610-151410009
Lynn Road Swaffham Water burst flooding the main road. ANL-150610-151410009
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Details of how Swaffham could expand over the next 20 years will go on display in the town next week.

A public consultation exercise has been launched on Breckland Council’s development framework for the next two decades.

And a drop-in session will be held at the town’s Assembly Rooms next Wednesday, January 20, between 2 and 7pm.

But the authority has been accused of failing to properly advertise the event and not addressing current issues in the town.

Speaking at Wednesday’s meeting of the town council, resident Richard Joyce called for the session to be rearranged so that all residents could be properly notified.

He said: “There’s elderly people, people who haven’t got access to the internet. Three or four days is not enough notice.

“You do a straw poll in the Market Place. Nobody knows about it.”

Another resident, Mike Flynn, said the town’s drainage and transport systems were already struggling to cope with the demands placed on it by housing schemes.

He said: “All this is going to add to it. You can’t say you’re looking at the next 20 years. You’ve got to resolve the issues now.”

But deputy mayor Paul Darby, who is one of the town’s Breckland councillors, said: “Please put those points forward because the more people who do, the more chance we’ve got of doing something about it.”

He argued that one of the main things that should be addressed is the question of where a new relief road for the town is built to relieve pressure on the A1065 which runs through it.

He added that residents who cannot attend tomorrow’s session can attend other events around the district.

The plan, which was launched last week, sets out where future housing development could be accommodated across the entire district.

Eighteen sites around Swaffham are assessed within the document with 10, mostly to the north and east of the town, being deemed as suitable for development.

More than two-thirds of the housing proposed in the documents is planned around Attleborough and Thetford, with proposed growth around Swaffham and the district’s other main towns of Dereham and Watton accounting for a further 18 per cent combined.

The Swaffham drop-in session is one of nine that are due to take place around the district during the consultation period.

The schedule includes events at the Mundford village hall next Wednesday, January 27, and Necton village hall on Thursday, February 11. All the sessions will run from 2 until 7pm.

More information about the plan can be found at www.breckland.gov.uk/local-plan-consultation. The consultation runs until February 22.