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Controversial bid to build new housing estate in Norfolk village delayed after lively meeting

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:26 27 April 2017

Virtual impression of that the development would look like in Bracon Ash. Picture: Bracon Ash Residents Group.

Virtual impression of that the development would look like in Bracon Ash. Picture: Bracon Ash Residents Group.

Luke Stone

A controversial bid to build a new housing estate in a small rural village has been delayed after councillors voted to visit the site to assess the impact on the community.

View of new residential development looking north along Norwich Road in Bracon Ash. Picture Chaplin Farrant. View of new residential development looking north along Norwich Road in Bracon Ash. Picture Chaplin Farrant.

The application for 52 new homes in Bracon Ash was due to be dealt with at a meeting of South Norfolk Council’s planning committee yesterday.

However a decision on the plans was delayed after councillors heard residents’ concerns.

The delay was welcomed by more than 50 residents, who packed out the public gallery at the lively meeting and are strongly opposed to the application.

Luke Stone, head of the Bracon Ash Residents’ Group, presented his objections to the committee and included a video of traffic using the B1113 to highlight road safety issues.

After the meeting, he urged councillors to visit the site when children will be using the footpaths to understand villagers’ concerns.

“They have to visit that site when children are going to school between the hours of 8.10am and 8.40am - that is vital and that is what I will pushing over the next week or so to make sure they deliver that,” he said.

“I have lived in Bracon Ash for 12 years and have three children and I will never let them walk down there, even with me.”

The estate, which would be built on open land off the B1113, would include 17 affordable homes and ‘shared equity’ homes, as well as 35 open market houses.

Although planning officers have recommended the application for approval, councillors want to visit the site to address concerns over a number of issues including water drainage and road safety.

Councillor Nigel Legg said: “I use these footpaths in Bracon Ash and they are pitiful. I get complaints from residents now so it is difficult to see how building another 50 or so houses will improve the situation.”

Councillor Barry Stone said a site visit would help him make a decision. “If we can’t solve the problems we must try and not make them worse then they are going to be or already are,” he said.

In support of the application Beccy Rejzek, of Bidwells, said: “There are no adverse impacts that would significantly outweigh the benefits of delivering substantial market and affordable housing to contribute to five year land supply.”

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