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Residents’ concerns over plans to build new homes on strip of land in Great Yarmouth

09:57 08 April 2014

Plot of land earmarked for 12 new homes.

Site is former railway track bed between Salisbury Road and Drake Ave, bordered by Blake Rd (to the east) and Sandringham Ave (to the west).

Picture: James Bass

Plot of land earmarked for 12 new homes. Site is former railway track bed between Salisbury Road and Drake Ave, bordered by Blake Rd (to the east) and Sandringham Ave (to the west). Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

Opposition is mounting against plans to build 12 affordable homes on a thin strip of land in Great Yarmouth.

Residents living around the site off Salisbury Road are so concerned about the bid to build 10 bungalows and two houses on it they have now formed a committee to fight the proposals.

The plot, a narrow corridor of former railway land between Sandringham Avenue and Blake Road, is used by residents as an area for parking, as well as a spot where children can play and is a popular short cut for high school students walking to their playing fields.

Those living nearby are concerned that too many homes are being squashed onto the land and fear for the impact it will have on parking and road safety.

On Wednesday more than 40 residents met to discuss the plans and pledged to fight the development after forming a committee.

Pippa Futter-South, from North Denes Road, is among those concerned by the proposals put forward by Saffron Housing Trust.

The mum-of-one said: “None of us have anything against what they’re trying to achieve. It’s the fact it’s this land.

“We’re concerned about road safety; the roads are chock-a-block block with the school. You can’t pull out of Blake Road and Collingwood Road in the mornings, and emergency vehicles, how are they going to turn?

“And these bungalows are going to be built a metre away from of the backs of our neighbours’ fences.”

Mrs Futter-South, 42, said the land - which is owned by Great Yarmouth Borough Council - had a history of potential development, but residents had been left particularly “frustrated” by the lack of updates and consultation from the authority about the Saffron plans.

“Their negotiation with the community to see how people feel about this piece of land has been very hit and miss,” she added.

Saffron Housing, which bought Trafalgar House and the old fire station in Great Yarmouth from the council for a £1 last year, said it had taken residents’ comments on board following a public display.

John Whitelock, Saffron’s director of new business, added: “Our architects have produced a sympathetic design with no overlooking, and modifications were made where possible in response to comments received from the open information event.”

Cllr Colin Fox, ward member for Yarmouth North, understood residents’ concerns and said he had called for a discussion when the council recently debated what to do with the land.

“My choice was always that it should be direct council housing. But I’m reassured in the sense that because it’s a housing association they’re not trying to squeeze in shoeboxes to get the most possible money,” he added.

“We do have a serious problem with the amount of houses and land available to us. We have got people wanting to downsize and we don’t have the houses [to put them in].

“This is an attempt to try and address those needs so people can stay in their communities.”

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