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'Harmful urban intrusion' - Controversial 190-home plan for village unlikely to get go ahead

PUBLISHED: 11:23 20 September 2019

Plans to build 190 homes in East Harling are set to be refused Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Plans to build 190 homes in East Harling are set to be refused Picture : ANTONY KELLY

A developer hoping to build close to 200 homes in a Breckland village looks likely to be knocked back in its bid.

Gladman Developments has earmarked land off Lopham Road in East Harling for a major housing development, which is looking to add up to 190 homes to the village.

The plans would see a quarter of these homes put up as affordable housing, an extension to a nearby woodland cemetery and a new playing area also built.

Originally, plans had called for 198 homes to be included in the development, however this number was slightly scaled back following feedback locally.

However, with Breckland Council's planning committee due to consider the application later this month, the Cheshire-based homebuilder has been dealt a major blow in its hope to develop the site.

Officers from Capita, Breckland's out-sourced planning department, have recommended to the committee that the scheme be refused, citing a range of concerns over its design and placement.

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In a report to the committee, Fiona Hunter, Capita's case officer, wrote: "The proposed development would result in harmful urban intrusion into the open countryside, beyond the existing built up part of the village to the north.

"Due to the location's flat, tranquil and rural nature - which allows for expansive views - the sizeable development would result in significant harm to the rural approach to, and setting of, the village."

Should the committee decide to approve the application, Gladman has proposed it would contribute more than to £70,000 towards medical facilities locally, while also offering funds towards education provisions.

The proposals were met with swathes of objection from neighbours, with more than 520 people submitting comments to the council opposing the scheme.

Among the concerns raised were fears the village would not be able to cope with the volume of houses, a lack of parking in the village centre and strain on education and medical facilities in the area.

Gladman Developments was approached to comment ahead of the meeting, but declined.

The planning committee meets on Monday, September 30, when councillors will consider if to follow the recommendations or approve the scheme.

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