Plans for play area in jeopardy

Plans for improvements to a north Norfolk play area could be in jeopardy after a developer failed to carry out road improvements as part of a planning agreement for building new homes.

Plans for improvements to a north Norfolk play area could be in jeopardy after a developer failed to carry out road improvements as part of a planning agreement for building new homes.

Broadland District Council are claiming a planning breach has occurred at Keys Hill, Park Road, Wroxham, where planning permission was granted four years ago to South Norfolk Development Limited, to create 16 new homes.

As part of granting planning permission for the new homes, the developer was asked to also make improvements, costing in the region of �15,000 to �20,000, to Park Road, which has a number of potholes, which they have not done.

Work on the homes was completed in October 2008 with people moving into the homes at the same time, but, a report to go before the council's planning committee on Wednesday , states; 'The last communication from the company suggested that they could not meet the likely costs associated with carrying out the road improvement works.'

Now the council's planning committee are being asked to consider a number of options and decide the best way forward, at a meeting being held in the council offices in Yarmouth Road, on Wednesday , from 9.30am.

One suggestion from the developers is that they are refunded �12, 935 of the �50, 601 they originally agreed to pay to Broadland District Council, again as part of the planning agreement, for an open space development to accommodate the extra numbers of people moving into the new homes.

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The suggestion of a refund has been put forward as originally the developer had plans for a care home on the site to be made into four new homes, but in the end those four homes were not built and it was kept as a residential facility.

But concerns have been raised by councillors on Wroxham Parish Council, who had planned to use the �50, 601 to make improvements to the existing play ground at Park Road.

Chairman of Wroxham Parish Council, Colin Spelman, said: 'It would be a disaster if Broadland District Council agreed to a refund, if we lost that �12,935 we would have to have a radical look at our plans, we are already in the process of drawing up plans and tendering contracts for the work.

'We are encouraging Broadland Council to go down some other road than refunding the �12, 935.'

Another option is to take enforcement action, although officers have said this could prove difficult because of legal problems, including uncertainty as to whether the part of the road for improvement is classed as being 'under the control' of the developer.

The council have offered assurances it would not involve people being forced out of the new homes.

Other options include the council carrying out the work at its own expense or taking no further action.

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