Planners recommend council refuses 150 homes bid
- Credit: Archant
Planners are recommending that a contentious bid to build 150 houses in a coastal village is refused.
The scheme, which would see the development of land at Highfield Equestrian Centre in Hemsby, will be discussed by the development control committee of Great Yarmouth Borough Council on Wednesday February 3.
Almost 600 people have already signed a petition calling on the council to reject the bid, which has angered local residents who fear the proposed estate would "cause traffic chaos and put a strain on village resources".
The petition was started by George Waterman, vice-chairman of the Hemsby Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, who said he was "very happy" that planners are recommending the bid is refused.
He said the group was in favour of sustainable developments, such as the plan to build 190 houses at the Pontins site.
“But what the group don’t support is concreting over fields for building houses for the sake of profit," he added.
The development bid “didn’t strike us as something that would benefit the community," he said.
A report prepared by planners ahead of this week's meeting states that the development of the site would be "an unwarranted intrusion in the countryside and place additional recreational pressure on protected habitats".
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The proposal is also contrary to the borough's development plan, they say.
"Hemsby is a primary holiday destination in the borough, it is not necessary to develop the site with the associated disturbance to residents and visitors. Visitors are the main driver of the local economy," the report says.
The document also makes reference to Norfolk County Council's concerns that Hemsby Primary School would likely be at capacity as a result of development of the site and other sites within the vicinity, as well as fears over flood risk and the loss of mineral resources.
During the consultation period, the bid received 35 objections from both villagers and the parish council, which called the plans an "overdevelopment of an unspoilt part of Hemsby, where nearby properties enjoy tranquillity and view of the fields with horses grazing".