Third consultation recommended over boundary changes involving 5,000 housing development
PUBLISHED: 14:59 08 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:09 08 August 2018
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013
A third consultation to gain the views of residents affected by parish boundary changes involving a major housing development has been recommended.
Thetford Town Council (TCC) requested to extend its boundaries to include the Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE), a 5,000-home development planned for the parishes of Croxton and Brettenham and Kilverstone.
Following the first consultation, Breckland Council’s Community Governance Review (CGR) sub- committee recommended a second consultation proposing no changes to the current boundaries.
A total of 3,947 people responded from the three parishes, with 3,855 against the proposal and 92 in support of it.
During Wednesday’s sub-committee meeting, Thetford Town councillors and resident representatives expressed their desire for community engagement and cohesion, achieved if the SUE became part of parish.
Croxton Parish Council Bob King believed the boundary should be moved to protect the rural nature of the parish.
But Tony Poulter, Brettenham and Kilverstone Parish Council chairman, said it felt like a “predatory take over” by the town council.
He added they had taken a lot of steps to prepare for the more than 2,100 houses to be built in the parish.
He said: “We have taken care to make sure that we do get the necessary facilities as the population grows and we have been active with the Section 106 agreement to get community facilities.”
The sub-committee recommended the parish boundary for Thetford expands to take in the first three stages of the SUE, currently in the Croxton parish. But they recommended the parish boundary of Kilverstone remain unchanged until closer to the final two stages development dates of 2034 and 2040.
The third consultation will also ask for name suggestions for the ward and addition of two new Thetford councillors.
Councillor Jane James said: “I think it is a reasonable response to the feedback in the consultation. I hope people will take the opportunity to engage and see it as an opportunity to engage to shape the future of their community through the naming of the ward and the number of councillors.”
The third consultation will take place between August 20 and September 20.
The final recommendation will be given in October before a final decision is made by Breckland’s full council.
Town and district councillor John Newton expressed his annoyance at the third consultation and recommendation.
“I’m disgusting with it to be honest because the people have given their time and opinions,” he said. “A lot of people did say that Breckland Council did not listen.
“You can day they listened in part but they really have not taken the views of the people of Thetford into full account. To ask people to do this all over again is quite a thing to ask. I think the people will get behind us but I could understand their views and their anger.”
Information about the consultation can be found on Breckland’s website.