Norfolk council’s site visit hijacked by protesters against affordable homes

Knapton residents protest against 14 new homes. Picture: Knapton Parish Council

Knapton residents protest against 14 new homes. Picture: Knapton Parish Council - Credit: Archant

Councillors on a site visit were hijacked by protesters, angry at plans to build 14 affordable homes in the middle of their village.

People in Knapton were out in force with ward councillor, Nick Coppack as North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) planning committee visited the proposed site on the Millennium Field.

Resident Michelle de Vries said 'We wanted to let the council know we are not against affordable homes in Knapton, but that these plans are completely inappropriate and will alter the character of the village forever.

'Not only will they mean the closure of our village hall, but their location is in the worst possible place considering our current parking and traffic problems.

'The county highways department has consistently said the development is a potential danger both for pedestrians and vehicles.

'Yet astonishingly, developer Victory Housing Trust continues to ignore all of our attempts to work with them to resolve the issues. Instead they have pressed ahead with an overcrowded housing estate with inappropriate designs, and no thought to residents' wellbeing.

A parish council spokesman said residents claim the height of the proposed homes blocks their views of the sea and the surrounding countryside, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

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In two packed village hall meetings, residents unanimously voted to oppose the plans, and over 130 objections were registered on the NNDC website.

Parish council leader Alan Young said: 'In a village of 190 homes we think this level of opposition is significant, so we are calling on the councillors to respect democracy and reject these plans once and for all.

'We want to work with everyone and come up with a suitable solution for Knapton which benefits the village, is in keeping with traditional designs, and considers the safety and parking issues on Hall Lane and School Close whilst providing much needed affordable homes in the area.'

The application will be discussed by NNDC's development committee on Thursday, May 17.

The plans are recommended for approval, subject to the completion of a section 106 agreement to secure the provision of affordable housing.

A spokesman for Victory Housing Trust said it would not comment ahead of the meeting.