Norfolk village fights plans for 1000 homes

David BalePeople living in a village on the outskirts of Norwich have set up a steering committee to fight plans for 1,000 new homes on their doorstep.David Bale

People in Hethersett have set up a steering committee to fight proposals for thousands of new homes in the village.

About 200 people attended a meeting organised by villagers last night to air their views about the number of homes a company representing landowners wants to see built.

People said they were prepared to accept a planning application of about 400 new homes, and volunteers agreed to gauge opinion over the next few weeks to find out what people want.

Richard Bacon the Conservative candidate for South Norfolk, two South Norfolk district councillors and parish councillors attended the meeting at the village hall, which was organised by postmaster Phil Emery.

It was suggested they would probably have to accept some development because the councils' Joint Core Strategy suggested Hethersett could cope with up to 1,000 new homes. But it was stressed villagers could control the pace and size of the develop-ment.

Mr Emery said: 'We need to work with the parish council to find out the needs of the village and find alternative sites for the new homes.'

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Mr Bacon said he did not want 1,000 new homes built in the village, and advised people at the meeting to set up the steering committee and urged volunteers to come forward.

He said: 'Getting a team together to fight the plans is right, but saying 'no' to any new development in the village is unrealistic. I would like to see the thousands of new homes earmarked for the south of the county to be spread around more evenly.'

However, some people at the meeting called for no new homes to be built in Hethersett, and others called for a new village to be built to accommodate the thousands of new homes needed.

The meeting was organised after two 'community workshops' were organised by a consortium representing landowners last month. At the consortium's subsequent feedback session, consultants said people wanted better leisure facilities, improved infrastructure and transport links, more health and dental provision and the retention of the character of the village.

t Villagers have set up a website at to act as a forum for debate on any proposals for development in the village