Reader’s Letter: Housing developers must help pay for improvements to roads and services in North Norfolk

Eric Seward. Pic: Liberal Democrats.

Eric Seward. Pic: Liberal Democrats. - Credit: Liberal Democrats

As a North Walsham Councillor I do not recognise the claim that local councillors have ignored the need for improved roads and services in the town with new housing developments.

In my experience, local councillors - of all parties - have always expected significant housing developments in the town to be matched by infrastructure improvements and for developers to help pay for them.

We do not always win the argument at the North Norfolk District Council planning committee. In the case of the big Hopkins Homes residential development on Norwich Road, concerns about the developer not making a proper payment to expand local services were ignored. As a result the council tax payer is having to pick up the resulting bill.

Currently, North Walsham under existing planning policies is meeting the required targets for new housing. This means there are good planning grounds to refuse additional major housing developments, such as the recent Greens Lane planning application because of the pressures they create for local services.

For the future, North Norfolk District Council is under heavy pressure to allocate more land for new housing. Discussions are at an early stage and nothing has been agreed. However, both Norfolk County and North North Norfolk District councillors for North Walsham have already made it clear to council planners that such a development must be matched by improvements to local roads and services.

Also, housing developers must help pay for these improvements and thus ensure that the burden does not fall entirely on public authorities.

It may well be the case that North Walsham ends up with having to have more new housing over the next 20 years. However, for this to be of lasting benefit to the town it must be properly planned and I remain committed to helping bring this about.

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Councillor for North Walsham North