West Norfolk planning applications soar

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Planning applications in West Norfolk soared last year and the upward trend is continuing, council officials say.

The warning was delivered in a report published ahead of the borough council’s meeting next Thursday and as new plans for a major housing development in Hockwold were lodged.

Richard Blunt, the authority’s portfolio holder for development, said: “Applications continued to increase in the last months of 2015 and the trendcontinues into January 2016.

“The number of applications for 2015 was 14 per cent higher than the previous year.”

The surge follows the council’s unsuccessful High Court bid to overturn the granting of planning permission for 40 homes on part of the former Fosters sports ground in Clenchwarton last summer.

The authority unsuccessfully claimed that it had an adequate five year supply of housing land in the borough after a government planning inspector ruled it hadn’t.

Since then, developers have been bringing forward housing proposals, which have to be determined on national planning guidelines, rather than local rules.

One of the latest schemes to come forward is an application for 26 homes on land adjacent to Wilton Farm on Main Street, Hockwold.

The plan, put forward by Mr Nathan Enefer, allows for 17 private homes, four affordable housing units and five available for social rent.

Documents submitted as part of the application to the council said: “The applicant is extremely keen on securing the future of locals that work locally and wish to live in the village, enhancing the needs of future generations and creating cultural well-being.”

But one resident who has responded to the application has already voiced concerns about the impact of additional traffic and parking in the area.