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Fears over Martham homes plan

PUBLISHED: 12:59 26 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:29 03 July 2010

Playing Field Lane: The access road to the proposed new housing development in Martham.

Playing Field Lane: The access road to the proposed new housing development in Martham.

RESIDENTS fear plans to build 13 new houses near playing fields in Martham are “an accident waiting to happen.”

Developer Landfast Ltd has applied to Great Yarmouth Borough Council for permission to build the semi-detached and detached homes on land off the unmade road Playing Field Lane, which is covered in potholes and often muddy.

RESIDENTS fear plans to build 13 new houses near playing fields in Martham are “an accident waiting to happen.”

Developer Landfast Ltd has applied to Great Yarmouth Borough Council for permission to build the semi-detached and detached homes on land off the unmade road Playing Field Lane, which is covered in potholes and often muddy.

But the proposal, which includes provision of 30 car parking spaces, has raised concerns the road would not be able to cope with the extra traffic associated with the development.

Jean Sutton, 74, who has lived in Playing Field Lane for nearly 15 years, was worried about the safety of children using the playing field during the summer months as many of them walked down the road to get to the field, which is used for football and cricket. Large lorries were also a regular sight, she said, delivering beer to Martham Sports and Social Club and would add to the congestion caused by the extra vehicles.

She said: “There is a very large space there and I would not have complained if they had wanted to build three houses, but I would not have thought the site was suitable for anymore.”

Mrs Sutton, who lives with husband William and son Michael, also questioned whether there was sufficient demand for more properties in the village as she believed other recent home developments had failed to attract many buyers.

She added: “Why are they building 13 homes when there is so much surplus in the village already? My main concern is the traffic though. I fear it is an accident waiting to happen.”

Teresa Martin, 37, who lives at nearby Marlborough Green Crescent, shared Mrs Sutton's concerns especially as her children Stacey, 13 and Callum, nine regularly used the playing field.

She said: “At the moment the only traffic coming up this lane is for football or cricket or to use the village hall, but we are going to have to watch the children when they run and around and play on the playing field. We only live out the back here and there is going to be a lot more traffic about.”

The development involves the demolition of a four bedroom house and the construction of the three and four bedroom homes behind it.

Martyn Goodwin, director of KLH Architects Ltd, which is involved with the new homes, said site developer Landfast Ltd was already building on an allotment site next to the A12 in Yarmouth and was convinced there was a market for new homes in the borough.

He said: “They have experience of developing homes in that part of the world and they are convinced that at the right price there is a market for what they are proposing to build.”

He added builders were now looking to build larger houses rather than flats.

The developer will also be paying for road surfacing for the dirt track lane as part of the application submitted to the borough council on Thursday.

Mr Goodwin said there would not be affordable homes, as the number of properties was less than the borough council's threshold for providing affordable housing.

A 28 day consultation process has now begun for the plans, which are yet to be considered by Martham Parish Council.

A decision on the plans is due to be made at the end of April.

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