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Fight Against New Development Goes On

Hethersett's fight to stop 96 new homes on land off Myrtle Road goes on.

A display of photographs showing the unsuitability of the area for housing was on display in Oak Square on Saturday, August 7th.

Permission for the development by Wimpey Homes has been given by a Government planning inspector despite opposition from Hethersett Parish Council, South Norfolk District Council and Norfolk County Council.

Planning permission was initially turned down but has subsequently been given by the inspector. This has prompted chair of the parish council George Beckford to issue a hard-hitting letter to the residents of the village - a copy of which is re-produced in full below.

"Dear Resident

You will undoubtedly be aware of the Planning Appeal decision that residential dvelopment at a density of not less than 0 dwellings per hectare on this site may proceed. What you may not be so sure about is why.

Basically the Inspector dealt with this matter solely on the highway issue, and all other objections were pushed aside. Even so, one would have expected that this alone would have been sufficient to uphold the refusal of planning permission. His reasoning has been unduly biased in favour of Wimpey. He accepted the views of the highways officer given at an earlier inquiry, which was abandoned, even though he was not present at this Appeal, having been found alternative employment as he had disregarded County Council guidelines.

The decision is unfair and based upon an improper assessment. Our local MP, Richard Bacon, has been in touch with the Housing Minister with a view to the decision being called in for review. It is anticipated that a joint deputation will meet the Minister in the next few weeks.

You may wish to express your views as to the suitability of lynch Green to serve as the only access and exit for vehicles using the site, coupled with the conservation issues and the need to maintain the area for the benefit of existing residents. Every letter/E-mail counts.

To this end, you could refer to the fact that Lynch Green reflects its origins, in that it was formed before the days of the motor car, and as such is a shared surface road without footpaths or significant verges. Also, it is scheduled for consideration by the District Council as a Conservation Area, having more than 60 trees covered by Preservation Orders.

Lynch Green does not meet National and Local standards required to serve a development of this size. This was clearly stated at the Inquiry by the highway authority, and was endorsed by an independent consultant brought in by the District Council.

He concluded that design standards should not be ignored as a matter of expediency. The road width varies and measures only 4.1m at one point. This can hardly be regarded as a two carriageway, two way road, particularly with pedestrians and cyclists required to use it. Everyone has seen how easily it is blocked by a large vehicle e.g refuse collection.

Other factors relating to the highway issue include the sightline and safety at the junction with Henstead Road, which is complicated by parking on that road outside Miller's Row and by users of the Church Hall. Also, Myrtle Road junction is on a bend and is required to provide access to a number of lokes.

The infrastructure of the village, particularly schools, is overstretched and will be more so when infill development, such as that at Harvey's Garage is completed. In the past three years since the Local Plan was introduced, some 70 dwellings have been built or are in the process of building in Hethersett. These must be taken into account when housing figures are compiled as they are already adding pressure to the infrastructure.

Your personal observations on these or other issues to Mr Bacon would be appreciated.

You can write to:

Richard Bacon MP

House of Commons


London SW1A 0AA or e-mail by clicking here 

Many thanks for your co-operation. If enough people complain perhaps we may induce a re-think."


George Beckford


If you have comments about the development why not post a message on the noticeboard by clicking here.


To read previous story on this subject click here.


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