May 19 2013 Latest news:
By KATHRYN BRADLEY
Monday, June 25, 2012
A north Norfolk village could potentially more than double in size if a landowner succeeds in getting the development limited extended.
Roger Crane has asked Broadland District Council to add 13.32ha to the current Marsham boundary, which marks out where new housing would be allowed.
If approved, it would provide enough extra space for 300 new homes and potentially double the size of the village near Aylsham.
The proposed new boundary extends north of the existing development boundary along Crane’s Lane and Fengate to take in Fengate Farm.
Mr Crane owns Fengate Farm and hopes to create a small mixed business and residential development on a redundant agricultural site which is already under concrete and hasn’t been in use for at least 10 years.
He said he did not own all of the 13.32ha, and was not looking to “anything like 300 homes”. But the extended boundary could open the way for other developers to try their luck.
Mr Crane said: “Marsham people are generally fairly protective of their environment and rightly so but they have to allow some development to help the village.
“There are some areas which are already under concrete but are redundant, which is where my interest is. There are livestock buildings which are not fit for purpose any more which are ripe for development when the economic climate improves. What I am talking about is on a micro scale and nothing like 300 homes.”
He said Marsham had good road links via the A140 and its proximity to Aylsham meant it also had access to services. He said he was sympathetic to Marsham residents but he believed extending the settlement limit to allow the development of redundant agricultural sites could benefit the village.
A number of concerned residents attended Marsham Parish Council meeting this month after learning of the proposals.
Parish council clerk Jeanne Stevens said it was unusual for so many people to attend the meeting. She said councillors had asked her to write a letter to the district council opposing the plan.
Broadland district councillor Ian Graham, who represent Aylsham Ward, said it was unlikely an extension to the development boundary would be approved because of the lack of infrastructure in Marsham.
He said the district council had identified Marsham as being suitable for a maximum of 30 homes built as in fill between existing properties in the village.
Wilmot Ching, 86, lives in Marsham with his wife Valerie. He said: “I will be amazed if it ever gets through and horrified as it’s green land. There is not the infrastructure there for a housing development.”
Another resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, lives on High Street - the area directly in front of the proposed area for planning. She said: “We would not mind a small development but anything else would ruin our view of the countryside. It would also ruin the area for the school.”
The proposal has been included in the district council’s site allocation development plan (SADPD), which sets out a shortlist of 62 sites across the district that would be suitable for development over the next 14 years.
A six-week public consultation over the shortlist was launched on Monday.