A local lobby group is urging residents to comment on the plans for the housing development off Broomhill Lane, Reepham, with the consultation period extended to 19 May.
Realistic Reepham says it has been working behind the scenes since the planning application for 141 dwellings was submitted to Broadland District Council in April last year.
The group has raised concerns about the plans that will turn Broomhill Lane into the widest road in Reepham and build a new sports hall beside the high school car park.
It says the project will destroy a 5.5-hectare greenfield site and the high school’s 2.1-hectare rugby field.
In addition, the sole vehicular access route to the housing estate will be off Whitwell Road and along Broomhill Lane, which links to Marriott’s Way.
Realistic Reepham notes that the site was approved by Broadland District Council for 100-120 dwellings, but 141 have been applied for. And although 33% of the dwellings should have been affordable, the applicant has reduced this figure to 20%.
A new sports hall was originally intended to be included on the site, but this has since been relocated, which means the school will lose 36% of its playing fields, the group points out.
Further, the farmland is home to many wild animals and birds and is an important hunting area for many more.
Many consultees, including Natural England, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Norfolk County Council Highways, have raised concerns about the proposals, but Realistic Reepham fears the plans may get pushed through by a district council “keen to meet an outdated housing target”.
The group says it has found mistakes in the information submitted in the planning applications, including underestimates about the number of buses that take students to and from the high school.
It adds that as well as the congested roads, the doctors’ surgery is overstretched, and the primary and nursery schools are full.
Realistic Reepham also claims to have found at least 20 policy issues where the applicant has not followed the planning guidelines.
The campaign group says it is not opposed to new housing but believes plans should include more social housing and be sympathetic to the existing townscape without spoiling the rural setting of the market town.
Residents can still comment on the plans via Broadland’s Planning Explorer, by email or write to: Broadland District Council, Thorpe Lodge, Yarmouth Road, Norwich NR7 0DU quoting planning application reference 20200847. The deadline for comments is 19 May.
See our earlier stories:
- Objections to new school sports hall continue
- Residents urged to comment on Broomhill Lane plans
- Lobby group warns of ‘hidden dangers’ with planning application