'There will be a huge impact' - Councillor's fears ahead of 665 homes vote
- Credit: Archant
Battle lines are being drawn up in a coastal village as contentious plans for a 665-home estate are set to be voted on next week by councillors.
A Persimmon Homes' bid to build the 665 homes off Jack Chase Way at West Caister is due to be discussed by Great Yarmouth Borough Council's development control meeting on Wednesday night.
The plans for the estate called Magnolia Gardens has drawn strong criticism as it will lead to the 60mph bypass road being downgraded to a 40mph road with two main access points and crossing points and see the loss of hedgerows and trees.
It is also said it will place a strain on local amenities.
The outline planning, which includes what is called "a local centre" and a cycle lane and sets aside land for a primary school and health centre, has led to 452 letters being sent into the borough council.
Objections within the letters focus on overdevelopment and the impact on the road network, the environment, schools and local healthcare services and the sewerage system.
The planning papers to be discussed on Wednesday recommend the outline planning permission be granted.
They say that a proposed population of 1,530 people in the estate could pump £21m a year into the local economy and it will help the council meet its housing supply needs by 2030.
Kevin Wood, vice chairman of Caister Parish Council, will be speaking at next week's meeting to demonstrate the strength of feeling against the estate bid.
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He said: "We will be at the meeting. We are trying to encourage as many residents to attend the meeting as possible.
"Obviously all the issues that we have are regarding to the bypass and destroying hedgerows and trees. They have not listened at this moment in time.
"They have not listened to anything we have said.
"Our concern is not just for the people of Caister, but all the surrounding villages as well.
"There will be a huge impact on everybody if they take away that northern section of the bypass, which is their plan.
"It has served Caister for 40 years. Lots of places across the country fight hard to get a bypass and we have got one and now they are wanting to take it away. It is absolute madness.
"There is another way they can build their houses, but they are just not listening.
"I think what the people of Caister feel is being proposed is wrong and nobody is taking any consideration, not just for Caister, but on the effects it will have on all the surrounding villages.
"We understand the need for housing.
"We can't stop house building, we know that. It is the way it is being done and the fact they are going to destroy hedgerows and the trees and downgrade our bypass and also doctors can't cope as well at the minute in the village.
"The feeling is very, very strong. I speak to people everyday all over the village and I have not come across anybody who thinks that the proposal is right."
A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes Anglia said: “We have engaged extensively with local stakeholders – including the parish council - and tried to balance feedback received alongside requirements set out by local authorities.
"This development will provide many benefits to the community, with many new homes for local families, job opportunities and significant investment in local services and infrastructure.”
The planning papers say that while removing 820 metres of hedgerow along Jack Chase Way is "regrettable", more than 1,500 of hedgerow will be planted elsewhere on the site.
No objections have been raised by Norfolk County Council's highways department over the plan and Anglian Water says there is sewerage capacity for the homes.
The papers say that 20pc of the 665 homes will be affordable and overall it will help meet the borough council's housing target of having 5,303 new homes built by 2030.
They add: "The proposed 665 dwellings will contribute a significant number of homes to meeting this target.
"Delivery on this site also forms part of the council’s five-year supply projections.
"Whilst the site is not a critical element of supply at the present time, it will be a critical part of the supply as the plan period progresses."
The homes scheme sits outside a new anti-development zone in the Broads.
Natural England has told local councils they must not grant planning permission for any schemes involving 'overnight accommodation' in a specific area, until plans can prove they will not lead to more nutrients flowing into waterways.