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Bid for affordable homes in Hevingham is set for refusal

PUBLISHED: 11:53 27 February 2013 | UPDATED: 11:53 27 February 2013

Proposals for 10 houses, a car park and allotments which could net a parish council £100,000 are being recommended for refusal.

Hevingham Parish Council hopes to be gifted 2.5 acres of land, off Westgate, by the executors of thelate Herbert Phillipo who is saidto have lived in the village for 90 years.The authority’s plans include a 33-space car park aiming to remove school traffic off the street, two properties to be sold in the open market and eight affordable houses for people with links to the parish. Allotments are also mooted for the site.But people living at 11 properties have lodged objections with Broadland District Council, along with the governors of Hevingham Primary School.

Their concerns include road safety issues caused by the car park’s location; the new car park would encourage more parents to drive to school; the roads would be unable to cope with extra traffic; and countryside views and privacy for existing residents would be lost.

Norfolk County Council’s highways team has also recommended the application for refusal.

Broadland District Council’s planning committee will make a decision tomorrow with officers recommending refusal.Questions have also been raised about the parish council’s agreement with the executors of Mr Phillipo.

The authority will be given the land on the understanding it receives planning permission for two open market housing building plots. Saffron Housing Trust is also in talks to acquire part of the landfor affordable housing from the parish council “at the market rate”.

Paul Carrick, district councillor for Hevingham, who supports the proposal, said the deal could be worth £100,000 to the parish council. He added: “If the plan goes through, the parish council will have a car park not just for the school but the under-5s next door and the allotment-holders who visit and the parish council will have £100,000 in the bank. That to Hevingham is 10 years of precept, trying to put that into perspective.

“We can do all sorts of things with that. We’ve never had that money to spend.

“Saffron Housing will develop the houses for local people. It will be classed as an exception site so we know if they get built, Hevingham people will get them.”

A referendum organised by the council in 2011 reported 225 properties out of 442 supported the development, 185 declined to reply and 32 objected. But one opponent noted it was not surprising a majority did not object as only those living in Westgate or near the primary school would be affected.

Paul Schuil, who lives with his wife and two children in Westgate, was among those who noted concerns, including the loss of countryside views, during the consultation. He said it was “disappointing” the parish council supports the proposal on a piece of green belt land not currently permitted for development. A Broadland District Council survey examining affordable housing in Hevingham found there was “good evidence” it was needed in the parish.

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