Bid for 665 homes 'cannot be stopped' councillor says

Geoff Freeman pictured when he was standing down as chairman of Ormesby with Scratby Parish Council

Geoff Freeman former chairman of Ormesby with Scratby Parish Council says the village needs to get the best deal it can out of the Persimmon bid for homes in West Caister. - Credit: James Bass

A village focusing on fighting plans for 665 homes should concentrate on "mitigating" the damage with an early bid for funds, a parish councillor has said.

Some 30  members of the public attended Ormesby with Scratby Parish Council meeting on Tuesday to debate the plan at nearby West  Caister where Persimmon wants to build an estate called Magnolia Gardens.

The plan, first put before the public in 2019,  is open for consultation and has triggered a string of meetings where residents have unanimously opposed the scheme.

Geoff Freeman, speaking at Tuesday's meeting,  said a decision wasn't likely until next summer that in his "heart of hearts" he could not see how it could be stopped.

Jack Chase Way

Jack Chase Way - Credit: Liz Coates

He said: "This application came about when the council called for sites in 2013/2014.

"Persimmon put in for two sites. They already had Pointers East and they thought they would very much be able to push on with the next site."

He said under the plans Jack Chase Way, originally conceived as a by-pass, would go from having two roundabouts, one at each end, to up to ten junctions with some homes pulling out directly onto the road.

The effect on Ormesby would be "horrendous" he said, with the new residents likely avoiding the stretch on their way to Norwich putting pressure on village roads.

"I cannot see how we can stop it," he  said. "It is in the local plan."

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The best course action would be to "get in early" with bids for cash to offset the damage with a range of traffic calming measures.

"We gave got to make representation about the effect it will have on our parish," he said, adding that with Pointers East they had been too late with £650,000 "swallowed" by the First and Last roundabout.

west caister homes

The land proposed for the 665 homes - Credit: Google

Members of the public broadly agreed with his strategy, one man tagging it "shrewd" and calling for a traffic study for the area.

Concerns were also raised about the loss of hedgerows,  as well as pressure on doctors surgeries, infrastructure and the loss of arable land.

One member of the public said more people meant more wage packets, which were good for local businesses and could drive up jobs and investment.

The council resolved  to meet again to officially formulate its consultation response.