'We know we cannot stop it' - Village faces up to 725-homes bid ahead of public meeting
PUBLISHED: 18:17 25 June 2019 | UPDATED: 18:18 25 June 2019
A public meeting to hammer out the best deal for a seaside village set to see another 725 homes is being staged next month.
The parish council in Caister says it wants to bring the debate away from social media so people can ask "grown-up" questions and hear what others think.
Under a proposal from Persimmon Homes 725 homes will spring up on land west of Jack Chase Way, close to where the developer is putting the finishing touches to another 190-home estate at Beauchamp Grange.
Tony Baker, parish council chairman, said people in the village had been firing questions at councillors so the decision had been taken to give everyone the chance to have their say at the council hall on July 15.
He said it wasn't about building opposition to Magnolia Gardens but getting the best possible plan for the village.
The main concern, he said, was around traffic taking "the easy option" through the village rather than negotiating the new traffic controls planned for Jack Chase Way.
"We know we cannot actually stop it. We want to get the best possible plan for Caister itself," he said.
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"It is not about trying to stop it, because we know we can't.
"It is going to be a grown-up conversation.
"It is the road and access that is causing the main concern. There is going to be an easy option to come through the village and if they can do that there's going to be a big problem.
"There has been a lot of response on social media and we want to take it away from there and put it in the public eye and make sure the developers realise the concerns, and that it's not just people on social media."
A public exhibition put on by Persimmon in May drew over 300 people, many of whom called into question the need for the homes.
A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes Anglia said: "There was an excellent attendance at the public exhibition, it provided an opportunity for local people to discuss the proposals with the development team and offer their feedback. 337 people attended, with 115 comment forms returned on the day and a further 41 comments have been submitted so far by email and online."
The parish council hopes to hold two meetings on July 15 at 2pm and 7pm, feeding back the responses to the planning process.
Persimmon Homes has yet to submit its application, the borough council has confirmed.