Green light for 300 new homes in Downham Market
17:29 4 April 2022
Plans for 300 new homes in Downham Market have been given the green light, after councilors voted to approve the finer details of the project.
The development will rise on the southwestern edge of the city, on land between Denver Hill and the A1122.
West Norfolk Borough Council had received 62 objections to the bid, with five supporting the proposals.
Concerns included noise and light pollution and the impact on green spaces and local services such as doctors, dentists and schools.
Proponents pointed out that the program will provide 60 affordable housing units for young people in Denver and Downham Market.
At a Monday April 4 meeting of the authority’s planning committee, Independent Councilor Alun ‘Tom’ Ryves was among those criticizing the scheme.
He said: “What we see is an uninspired arrangement of Lego designs, to maximize developer return, completely ignoring even Downham’s moniker, ‘Gingerbread Town’.”
Chris Calvert, an agent speaking on behalf of the claimants – Prosperity Homes Broadoaks Limited and Koto Limited – however insisted the design had been “carefully considered” by council planning officers.
“It reflects local character, materials – such as cut stone – and contains a significant amount of open public space and a variety of landscaping types,” Calvert said.
Tory Councilor Anthony Bubb said he was ‘delighted to see there are quite a few bungalows on this site’ adding that ‘not everyone can cope with the stairs’.
The council had in 2017 refused to grant permission in principle for the development, but the developer appealed this decision to the Town Planning Inspectorate, which overturned the refusal in 2018.
Downham Market Borough Council had also opposed the scheme, saying the latest version of the plan was “not like” an earlier layout proposed by the developer.
The open space around the houses will include a 50m ‘buffer zone’ to the southwest of the site to minimize the impact on the area’s greater crested newts, which will include grass with trees, picnic benches -nique and shrubs.
The councilors voted 14 votes for, 2 against and 1 abstention.