Concern over plans for 1,196 new homes at Hethersett

Plans to almost double the size of Hethersett are 'not a done deal' say objectors who hope to stop a 1,000-plus homes development.

Residents have just over two weeks to have their say on an outline planning application for the north of the village, which includes a scheme to build 1,196 new homes, a primary school, shops, business units and other community facilities. The plan also includes an extension to the Thickthorn Park and Ride and a new dedicated slip road from the A11.

The proposals, submitted earlier this month by Hethersett Land and Landowners, part of Ptarmigan Land, came before the conclusion of a South Norfolk Council consultation into where thousands of new homes will go in the district over the next 15 years as part of its Local Development Framework.

Hethersett was earmarked for around 1,000 new homes as part of the Greater Norwich Development Partnership's Joint Core Strategy (GNDP).

But James Utting, spokesman for the Hands Off Hethersett group, who have employed a professional planning consultant to view the plans, said the scheme encroaches the 'strategic gap' between Hethersett and Cringleford.

'The development as proposed would in one hit almost double the size of the village. That would overload existing infrastructure, cause excessive traffic congestion in and around the village and destroy the sense of continuity which has underpinned the organic growth of this village over several centuries,' he said.

David Bills, district councillor for Hethersett, said there were concerns about increased traffic, new school provision and whether the current infrastructure and facilities can cope.

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'As an individual I am against 1,100 homes in one fell swoop on the end of Hethersett. It is our responsibility to make sure any development is to the benefit of Hethersett.

'We are not finished with the site specifics yet and it is not a done deal. It has to go through the planning process and the community will have its opportunity to voice its opinion.'

In an application to South Norfolk Council, John Long of planning consultants Bidwells, said the development would help meet housing need in the Greater Norwich area and were designed to minimise the impact on the landscape and local community and preserve the gap between Hethersett and Little Melton and Wymondham.

Residents have until December 8 to comment on the plans.