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New homes land grab bid petition nears 1,000 signatures

PUBLISHED: 20:17 26 February 2016 | UPDATED: 20:17 26 February 2016

A petition for Caister to take over part of Ormesby St Margaret's parish has gathered nearly 1,000 signatures.

A petition for Caister to take over part of Ormesby St Margaret's parish has gathered nearly 1,000 signatures.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A bid to re-draw the boundary between two villages is gaining momentum with hundreds of people putting their names to a petition.

Caister says it needs the signatures of 10pc of the electorate to force the borough council to look at relocating the dividing line between the seaside settlement and Ormesby.

The dispute centres on a new 189-home estate called Pointers East or Beauchamp Grange which is said to occupy an uncertain position between the two.

Officially the site lies in Ormesby but is being marketed by Persimmon Homes as being in Caister because, they say, it is geographically closer and easier to find on web searches.

However parish councillor Lynne Connell argues that the new development further blurs the boundary and is unfair because precept payments will go to Ormesby which is further away.

She wants the boundary which currently sits at Meadowcroft to move to Jack Chase Way, clearing up any uncertainty.

The move is being resisted by Ormesby.

So far Mrs Connell said she was well on the way to having collected 1000 signatures, way beyond the 363 needed and proving the level of support.

She and her team had been at the school gates, outside the parish hall and even on buses drumming 
up support with 99.9pc of those spoken to happy to sign their approval, including some people from Ormesby who asked to add their names.

Mrs Connell said the next step was to make an appointment to officially handover the petition.

Then it would be up to the council to decide if they met the criteria, although Mrs Connell understood the bid ticked six of the seven boxes required.

Under new rules established in 2007 she said it was now easier to bring about a change with the borough council able to make the decision which had to finally approved by the Boundary Commission.

She said the main thrust for the change was on the grounds of “cohesion”. As it was neighbours would be residents of different parishes - an anomale that could be cleared up if the boundary was moved.

There was also “the precept problem” she said with new households on the estate paying their share to Ormesby instead of Caister.

While the two village signs were a mile apart the boundary was actually back-to-back she said.

And whereas most people thought the boundary was at the First and Last pub it was in fact at Meadowcroft.

Caister Parish Council is due to meet on Monday night.

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