Draft Greater Norwich Local Plan – Part 1 The Strategy

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Draft Greater Norwich Local Plan – Part 1 The Strategy

Question 46. Do you support or object or wish to comment on the approach for specific village clusters?

Representation ID: 22012

Received: 13/03/2020

Respondent: Halvergate Parish Council

Representation:

Halvergate Parish Council have no issue with the linking of Halvergate with neighbouring villages as a ‘cluster’, given that no land within the Parish has been designated as suitable for a development consisting of 10 or more dwellings. We also understand that this new status is in no way intended to transcend or undermine the provisions of the Halvergate Conservation area.

Overriding concern is that any planning permissions granted, should be slanted heavily towards providing dwellings for the existing community.

Concern that village cluster approach could mean larger developments end up being permitted in villages with little or no infrastructure, and, crucially, no substantial transport links.

The Parish Council also wishes to draw attention to the possible effects on the sewage treatment plant off the Wickhampton road that serves not only Halvergate but also the neighbouring village of Freethorpe. If substantial further development is allowed in Freethorpe we fear that this plant could be placed under strain.

Full text:

At a recent meeting of Halvergate Parish Council on 4th March, it was agreed that the Parish Council had no issue with the linking of Halvergate with neighbouring villages as a ‘cluster’, given that no land within the Parish has been designated as suitable for a development consisting of 10 or more dwellings. We also understand that this new status is in no way intended to transcend or undermine the provisions of the Halvergate Conservation area.

Councillors also agreed that our overriding concern continues to be that any planning permissions granted, should be slanted heavily towards providing dwellings for the existing community, with an emphasis on affordable dwellings for younger people and opportunities for older residents to develop in-fill plots on a piecemeal basis.

However, we feel, nevertheless, that one unfortunate consequence of village clustering across the area covered by the GNLP is that larger developments could end up being permitted in villages with little or no infrastructure, and, crucially, no substantial transport links. Where this is the case there will inevitably be a much greater use of private cars at a time when the country is seeking to drastically reduce its carbon footprint. We are concerned by the consequent pressure on rural roads by any amount of development, especially given that most households have at least 2 cars and also the pressure on medical facilities and schools. The infrastructure should already be in place to support any building.

The Parish Council also wishes to draw attention to the possible effects on the sewage treatment plant off the Wickhampton road that serves not only Halvergate but also the neighbouring village of Freethorpe. If substantial further development is allowed in Freethorpe we fear that this plant could be placed under strain. (Residents are already complaining about the frequency of lorries negotiating the tiny road to service the plant.) At a site meeting back in 2013, Anglian Water maintained that it remained confident that this plant was fit for purpose, though in the follow-up letter to this meeting the representative admitted that the plant was ‘operating beyond its design capacity’. With the all-pervading stench from the Whitlingham plant that greets drivers on the Norwich Southern Bypass which serves as a reminder of what ensues if such a plant is not fit for purpose, we very much hope that any large developments ensuing from the new cluster status do not condemn Halvergate residents to the same daily misery.

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