The Heacham School Road development plans have become a very important issue, because the developers are challenging the borough council’s ability to produce a proper housing plan for this area.
This has resulted in a complete “free for all”, allowing developers to push through all sorts of developments that are outside the borough’s plan.
Broadland Housing/Townfolk are trying to develop the School Road site. They get public money and are using their resources to challenge our democratically elected council’s housing plan so that they can build on farming land which is outside our village boundary.
In previous applications, with the A149 as access, the developers and Norfolk County Council Highways have described the School Road access as limited and unsuitable for traffic. They even wanted to put barriers up to stop vehicles. As this plan was rightly turned down, they have now done a complete about turn and claim that the junction and School Road are suitable for higher traffic volumes.
Residents have always known and said that this junction is a problem. The parish council’s traffic survey, which has valid and repeatable data, confirms these views. It also raises very serious concerns about the validity of the developers’ assessments and NCC Highways’ claims.
Yes, this development has been turned down at every stage, but for other reasons. The views of the parish council and hundreds of local residents have been clearly voiced but it is disappointing that they have been ignored at every stage of the planning process.
Before any decision is made, the justifiable and valid claims of the villagers and their representatives should at least be heard. After all, they will be living with the consequences.
If this development is allowed, previous experience tells us that a high proportion of houses are bought as holiday homes. This artificially inflates values in the area so that they are out of local reach.
This appeal affects the whole borough and the people who live here. Show you care and attend the inquiry. It started on Tuesday at Lynnsport.
Our local MP, Sir Henry Bellingham, who opposes this development, will be attending and speaking today.
Adrian Hood, Save Heacham Village Committee