Stalham homes site battle
Town leaders in Stalham have urged householders to fight a plan to formally identify a field opposite the high school as suitable for up to 160 homes.As work continues to finalise the new local development framework for north Norfolk, which will list suitable sites for various types of development over the next 15 years, in Stalham the site bounded by Ingham Road and Yarmouth Road has emerged as the current favoured option in the eyes of North Norfolk District Council.
Town leaders in Stalham have urged householders to fight a plan to formally identify a field opposite the high school as suitable for up to 160 homes.
As work continues to finalise the new local development framework for north Norfolk, which will list suitable sites for various types of development over the next 15 years, in Stalham the site bounded by Ingham Road and Yarmouth Road has emerged as the current favoured option in the eyes of North Norfolk District Council.
But there is growing opposition to the suggested nine hectare site, which could also feature serviced employment units.
According to town council chairman Tony Ross-Benham, there is a wider acceptance that Stalham will expand with new homes and industrial areas, but the district council was currently pushing the wrong site.
An alternative opposite the Recreation Ground, between Stepping Stone Lane, St John's Road, the A149 and Brumstead Road was far more acceptable to most people, he added.
Mr Ross-Benham has urged people not just to complain verbally about the plans, but to put pen to paper and take part in an ongoing consultation process.
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'We feel it is about sheer weight of numbers at this stage,' said Mr Ross-Benham.
'The site near the high school is just completely wrong, it will cause serious traffic problems and the sewerage and rainwater drainage is not up to it.
'The site we think is far better, opposite the Recreation Ground, would bring far more community benefit and provide more than enough space for the amount of housing and industrial units necessary.
'I think if enough people write in and make these points, the district council will be forced to listen. There are perfectly good grounds to object, but those objections still need to be made in large numbers.'
Mr Ross-Benham also said he had concerns about not being listened to or taken seriously at the district council. Stalham Town Council has sought support from other town and parish councils on this matter and received a host of positive responses, including from Cromer, Ingworth, Swafield and Bradfield, Paston, Roughton, Trunch and Sheringham.
District council spokesman Nick Manthorpe said: 'This is what we do the consultation for and we want to hear from everyone potentially affected.
'Please take part in the consultation.'
t To take part in the consultation process, log on to www.northnorfolk.org/ldf, visit the district council offices in Cromer and Fakenham during office hours, or go to your local library.
You can also call the planning policy department on 01263 516318. The deadline for responses is July 31.
There is currently a travelling series of public exhibitions about the proposals, all running from 3pm to 7pm. This will call at Cromer Parish Hall today, Wells Maltings tomorrow, Hoveton Broadland community centre on Friday and Holt community centre on Tuesday.