Fears young people could be priced out of village after 100 new homes approved

The Mushroom Farm development in Martham. Picture: Persimmon Homes

The Mushroom Farm development in Martham. Picture: Persimmon Homes - Credit: Persimmon Homes

Concern over young people being priced out of a new development in a village were voiced, as plans for 100 new homes were approved.

The site, known locally as Mushroom Farm, off White Street in Martham, will see a mix of two, three and four bedroom homes.

However, as there have been several fires in a large outbuildings on the land it is heavily contaminated, and developers Persimmon Homes say the cost of clearing the site would make providing 20 affordable homes prohibitive.

An independent report by the district valuation officer is currently being drafted to determine what level of affordable housing would be acceptable on the site to mitigate for the cost of cleaning up the site.

At a Great Yarmouth Borough planning meeting on Tuesday, councillors voted unanimously to approve the plans.

Earlier, Paul Hooper, vice chairman of Martham Parish Council, had told borough councillors: “I think your decision has got to include affordable homes for our kids in the village.”

Mr Hooper questioned how councillors could make a decision before the full report was published.

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He said: “Members are being asked to make a decision without knowing whether or not there will be affordable houses or not. How can you make a decision on what you do not know?”

A policy in the borough’s recently adopted core strategy requires 20pc of new housing built in Martham be affordable – equating to 20 dwellings for the Mushroom Farm development.

Grant Heal from Persimmon Homes said the developer would be happy to provide whatever level of affordable housing was suggested in the report but when questioned by councillors, he conceded it could be the case that “zero per cent” of housing on the site would be “affordable”.

Mr Heal added there would be a number of two-bedroom properties which would be at the lower end of housings costs.

Back Lane would be closed to two-way traffic and become a cul-de-sac, with two turning points for vehicles.

A zebra crossing would be installed close to the former junction of Back Lane and White Street.

A large derelict house will be demolished to make way for a new access road to the brownfield site.

Despite objecting to the level of affordable housing and issues around drainage and the roads, Mr Hooper said the parish council welcomed development of the site as it had been an eyesore in the village for years.

Outline planning permission was granted last month for 108 homes on a site south of the site in Hemsby Road, which could be linked by a pedestrian path to the Persimmon development.