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Mixed response for new homes plans in Martham

PUBLISHED: 17:34 02 November 2014 | UPDATED: 17:34 02 November 2014

The  former mushroom factory in Martham after it was devastated by fire earlier this year.

The former mushroom factory in Martham after it was devastated by fire earlier this year.

Plans to clear up an eyesore site in Martham by building 104 new homes on it have been broadly welcomed by villagers.

But a separate scheme to construct a further 120 homes on a neighbouring field has raised concerns the village could become an “urban sprawl”.

Developer Persimmon is putting forward an application to build a mix of two to five bedroom homes on the old mushroom farm off Back Lane.

The site has long been an eyesore after falling into disrepair when it shut down in the 1990s, and after suffering a series of fires the latest of which devastated the site in March.

Paul Hopper, parish council vice chairman, said the majority of people were “in favour” of Persimmon’s scheme as it would clear up the eight acre site, but it did raise some concerns over traffic and services, particularly water supply.

“We want to see something done with the mushroom farm as long as the developers take care of these problems and are aware of them,” he added.

But while residents were pleased to see plans come forward for the blighted site, Mr Hopper said the majority were opposed to the bid being put forward by developers Norfolk Land Ltd, which wants to build 120 new homes on the field beside the mushroom farm.

He added: “The second development gives the village virtually nothing and all it does is makes our village crawl out, almost like an urban sprawl. The mushroom farm is a brown field site, this is not.”

Alan Presslee from Cornerstone Planning, the consultants working for Norfolk Land, said the scheme had come 
about as a result of the borough council’s new local plan, which identifies Martham as an area for development, and studies had been undertaken to assess whether the village could absorb the homes.

“We’ve been advised by the county council there’s sufficient school capacity and we have done a lot of work to satisfy ourselves there’s sufficient infrastructure to accommodate the extra traffic,” he added.

Persimmon is due to submit a detailed application to the borough council in the next month, while Norfolk Land will be submitting an outline plan, before progressing to a detailed application.

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