Council to oppose Downham homes

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Downham Town Council is objecting to proposals for up to 300 new homes following a unanimous vote.

Nearly 100 residents attended an extraordinary council meeting to discuss the plans on Tuesday evening.

The Grosvenor Partnership is seeking outline permission for the homes on land off the A1122 at Nightingale Lane.

West Norfolk Council granted outline planning permission for 170 units at the site in October.

Now the Isle of Man-based developer is seeking to extend the project because of its “highly sustainable” location.

Downham councillors objected to the original application, submitted in 2015, and are to oppose the amended scheme after hearing the views of residents this week.

A number of concerns were raised at the meeting, particularly the impact the extra homes could have on Downham’s services and infrastructure, including drainage, the roads, schools and medical centres.

The development site could be accessed via a new roundabout on the A1122, not far from the roundabout with the A10.

There are fears the roundabout could worsen traffic and  some residents suggest the more rural roads, including Ryston End, would struggle to cope with an increase in vehicles.

Deputy town clerk Richard Davidson said the council was pleased by the high turn-out to Tuesday’s meeting.

Members felt the town’s infrastructure did not have the capacity for such a large development and had concerns about the density of the estate once an extra 130 homes had been added.

A mixture of housing types is proposed, ranging  from one to four-bedroom properties.

The plans also include areas of public open space, 60 affordable homes and a “local centre” with a car park, play area, child care centre and supermarket.

The final decision rests with West Norfolk Council and permission for the 170 homes still stands.

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