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Protest over 160-home plan in Stalham

PUBLISHED: 11:24 17 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:26 03 July 2010

Townspeople in Stalham are battling a plan that could see 160 homes built on a field opposite the high school.

A stormy public meeting saw more than 80 householders unanimously condemn the use of the land bounded by Ingham Road and Yarmouth Road for a mixed development of businesses and housing.

Townspeople in Stalham are battling a plan that could see 160 homes built on a field opposite the high school.

A stormy public meeting saw more than 80 householders unanimously condemn the use of the land bounded by Ingham Road and Yarmouth Road for a mixed development of businesses and housing.

As work continues to finalise the new local development framework for north Norfolk, which will list suitable sites for various types of development over the next 15 years, the site has emerged as the current favoured option in the eyes of North Norfolk District Council.

But protestors say the nine-hectare site is not suitable because of problems with sewage, water, traffic and danger to children attending the high school - and an alternative opposite the Recreation Ground, between Stepping Stone Lane, St John's Road, the A149 and Brumstead Road would be far more acceptable.

“There are major issues with water,” said 77-year-old Dee Newman, who lives on Yarmouth Road near the site. “They will have to pump it up from Stalham which will be very expensive.

“There are people whose homes are right next door who are worried about the disruption for them and for the schools - there's an infant school just a few yards away.”

Mrs Newman added that the alternative site was identified by Anglian Water as the best option for development of this sort.

Town council chairman Tony Ross-Benham has urged people not just to complain verbally about the plans, but to put pen to paper and take part in an ongoing consultation process.

“We feel it is about sheer weight of numbers at this stage,” said Mr Ross-Benham.

“The site near the high school is just completely wrong, it will cause serious traffic problems and the sewerage and rainwater drainage is not up to it.

“The site we think is far better, opposite the Recreation Ground, would bring far more community benefit and provide more than enough space for the amount of housing and industrial units necessary.

“I think if enough people write in and make these points, the district council will be forced to listen. There are perfectly good grounds to object, but those objections still need to be made in large numbers.”

Stalham Town Council has sought support from other town and parish councils on this matter and received a host of positive responses.

District council spokesman Nick Manthorpe said: “This is what we do the consultation for and we want to hear from everyone potentially affected.”

To take part in the consultation process, log on to www.northnorfolk.org/ldf, visit the district council offices in Cromer and Fakenham during office hours, or go to your local library.

You can also call the planning policy department on 01263 516318. The deadline for responses is July 31.

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