In its long-awaited report, the Planning Inspectorate has generally accepted Broadland District Council’s plans for new housing in Reepham.
The report gives the go-ahead for 120 new homes to be built on land off Broomhill Lane (site PS48-01) as part of the Council’s Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD).
Broadland said the report concludes that the plan “meets the criteria for ‘soundness’ in the government’s National Planning Policy Framework, subject to modifications being made”.
In her report, the government-appointed planning inspector Louise Crosby noted a high level of opposition to the proposed site from local residents, but agreed with Broadland’s plans for Reepham – subject to improved access from a realigned Broomhill Lane onto School Road and the provision of a public footpath to the site.
According to the report, the developer expects housing construction on the site to begin in August, with the first homes ready for occupation in May 2017.
It is further stated that the build rate will be around 35 houses per year, which “is likely to result in the provision of a steady supply of dwellings in this sustainable location and contribute to the five-year supply of homes”.
It is anticipated that a total of 120 new houses will be built on the Broomhill Lane site: 25 in 2016/17, 50 in 2017/18 and 45 in 2018/19.
The planning inspector also said that both Anglian Water and the Environment Agency raised no objections as to how the Broomhill Lane site will deal with foul and service water, surface water discharge or sewage capacity, following monitoring to assess the capacity at Reepham Water Recycling Centre.
The Site Allocations DPD also calls for the development of land at the former station yard on Station Road, Reepham (site PS48-02), on which is proposed a mixed development of residential and employment, accommodating around 20 homes, B1 and B2 employment uses.
The Site Allocations DPD will shortly be considered for adoption by Broadland District Council. There will then follow a period of six weeks whereby a challenge to the adopted plan can be made through an application to the High Court on the grounds that the plan is not in accordance with the legislation and/or does not comply with a procedural requirement.
Meanwhile, Broadland has accepted a requirement to review its housing development plan in 2015/16 as part of the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) for Broadland, Norwich and South Norfolk, which was adopted in 2011 and originally designed to cover the period up to 2026.
A new Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) is now being prepared jointly within the three districts in the greater Norwich area, together with Breckland, North Norfolk and the Broads Authority.
This will lead to the preparation of a new local plan, possibly for adoption in 2020/21 and covering the period up to 2036, which may mean that all the rejected sites – and perhaps others – could be put forward again in the future.
Mark Bridges, who led the Realistic Reepham campaign opposing the housing numbers and against developing the Broomhill Lane site in particular, said the town had been “betrayed by a so-called democratic system”.
“Far better and viable options are available for Reepham to build fewer houses, including ‘windfall’ numbers, which would mean more realistic yet more sympathetic growth for the town.
“The cash-strapped spatial planning team are simply ticking boxes to ensure delivery of poorly justified targets and an easy option to deliver yet more houses on the same site to satisfy the next JCS.”
See the Planning Inspector’s full report HERE
See our earlier stories:
- Consultation on proposed modifications to site allocations
- Broadland announces preferred site allocations for Reepham
- Another consultation on new housing development sites
- Reepham Town Council backs two new sites for housing