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Hethersett housing plans in spotlight

PUBLISHED: 11:30 24 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:05 02 July 2010

Hethersett planning weekend

Hethersett planning weekend

Peter Walsh

Proposals for major development in Hethersett came under the spotlight last night.

A blueprint of how at least 1,000 new homes might be incorporated into the village was unveiled at a lively public meeting at Hethersett High School.

Proposals for major development in Hethersett came under the spotlight last night.

A blueprint of how at least 1,000 new homes might be incorporated into the village was unveiled at a lively public meeting at Hethersett High School.

Families were invited last weekend to 'workshops' run by consultants representing a group of landowners and yesterday feedback from those sessions was presented.

More than 80 people attended the meeting and while most were against any kind of development, some had participated in the sessions over the weekend.

The consultants said their work showed people wanted better leisure facilities, improved infrastructure and transport links, more health and dental provision and the retention of the character of the village.

The sessions and feedback were organised by Ptarmigan Land and architects John Thompson and Partners (JTP), who are acting on behalf of the landowners - called Hethersett Land.

Charles Campion from John Thompson and Partners said following feedback from the workshops, proposals for up to 1,100 homes had been drawn up and would see the north of Hethersett expanded into a series of hamlets - each separated from one another and from the existing village with green spaces, but aiming to retain the character of a village.

He also revealed that a second village centre was also proposed, next to the existing village hall, which would link the existing and new communities, and which would be focused around a green.

Their proposals would include a range of new facilities and a new primary school. Another idea discussed was to create a green opposite the King's Head pub in Queen's Road.

Speaking after the meeting, Trevor Radley, 39, from Melton Court, Hethersett, said: “I'm not happy because they want to destroy my village, but I am happy they were being honest. No-one wants this.”

Malcolm Goldspink, who lives in the village, said the proposals were “pie in the sky”. He added: “I like what could happen at the village hall, but don't like what's going to happen to the roads - the road system could be a disaster.”

Hugo Kirby, managing director of Ptarmigan Land, said he thought the meeting had been “very interesting”.

He added: “No-one said anything that I wasn't expecting or hadn't heard before.

“We respect their views and have done our utmost to produce a plan which deals with as many of those issues as we possibly can.”

The consultants said the project was in response to a proposal by the Greater Norwich Development Partnership - a collection of local councils - that new homes should be built in the village between now and 2026.

The GNDP's Joint Core Strategy - a blueprint for where homes should be built - has earmarked Hethersett as having the potential for 1,000 new homes. But the group acting for the landowners has submitted a so-called 'screening request' to South Norfolk District Council for up to 4,000 homes to be built.

A meeting to discuss the proposals is to be held at Hethersett Village Hall, Back Lane, Hethersett on Thursday, May 13 at 6.30pm.

What do you think? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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