Water warning over Gayton development proposals

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Sewerage systems would not cope if three major housing developments proposed for one West Norfolk village are approved, water company officials have claimed.

The warning by Anglian Water comes amid growing public concern in Gayton over the volume of new housing currently proposed for the area.

At present, plans for more than 100 new homes on several sites across the village are awaiting a decision from West Norfolk Council and more schemes are expected.

The largest current application, for 40 homes, is planned for a site at Manor Farm on Back Street.

A further 29 properties are proposed for the former Allens garage site on Lynn Road, while up to 24 more are proposed for land at the back of the old Rampant Horse pub.

Further applications have also been lodged for 10 homes at the Gayton Mill site on Litcham Road and three at Jubilee Farm.

But latest consultee reports from Anglian Water in relation to the three largest schemes have warned there is “limited capacity” in the existing sewerage network to cope with the number of homes proposed.

In correspondence with the borough council, Mark Rhodes, from Anglian Water, said: “There is a risk of downstream flooding in the event that two or three of the sites are to be developed.

“It is anticipated that upgrades to the existing foul sewerage network would be required in the event that the council is minded to approve more than one of the applications.”

Community leaders held talks with borough planning officials on Monday to voice their concerns about the scale of proposed development.

During that evening’s parish council meeting, chairman Bob King said planners were aware that Anglian Water’s concerns needed to be resolved.

He said they had emphasised they were not opposed to development but that residents were worried about the unknown scale of the potential growth.

He said: “If it’s 150, we can start to deal with it. The realisation the 150 could become 300 and there’s no means to fight back is the difficult bit.”

And he urged villagers to make their own comments about any of the schemes currently before planners.

Many West Norfolk communities, including Gayton, are currently experiencing a surge of planning applications following last summer’s court ruling which deemed the borough council did not have an adequate supply of available housing land.

The issue is also likely to be a key factor during a planned public inquiry into proposals for dozens of new homes and sheltered housing units, plus a care home, on land off School Road, Heacham, which is scheduled to take place in May.

Although a government inspector rejected the proposal last year, that decision was later quashed by the High Court after government officials conceded the Clenchwarton ruling should have been taken into account.