225 homes in Thetford given final approval by council

A map showing the planned 225 homes in Thetford

The purple-shaded area shows where the 225 homes would go, with some of the surrounding fields occupied by other sub-phases of the 5,000 home sustainable urban extension. - Credit: Google

Detailed plans for 225 new homes on the edge of Thetford have been approved unanimously by councillors.

The homes are one so-called ‘sub-phase’ of the 5,000-home Kingsfleet sustainable urban extension (SUE) to the Norfolk town, granted in principle by Breckland Council in 2015.

At a Tuesday meeting of the council’s planning committee, members considered the layout, appearance, scale and landscaping of the 225 homes, which are proposed by developer Taylor Wimpey to go up on land between the railway line and Norwich Road.

A representative speaking on behalf of developers said: “It is acknowledged and respected by Taylor Wimpey that these early phases of the urban extension play an important role in setting the tone for the quality of development that will be delivered across the whole settlement.”

A “sense of place” would be established within the homes, she said, through the use of a range of building materials and colours, contributing to a “harmonious design approach” between the different sub-phases of the SUE. 

She added that an existing patch of woodland on the site’s edge, known as Jane’s Wood, would “provide a verdant backdrop to the development, and a series of linked public open spaces, of different size and character, will help create a rich landscape setting”.

Breckland District councillor Harry Clarke. Picture: Harry Clarke

Labour councillor Harry Clarke was among the councillors to raise concern about the development's flood management. - Credit: Archant

Labour councillor Harry Clarke, Conservative Mark Kiddle-Morris and independent Keith Gilbert all raised concerns about the development’s flood management. 

Mark Kiddle-Morris, Conservative candidate for Guiltcross. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Conservative councillor Mark Kiddle-Morris was among the councillors to raise concern about the devleopment's flood management. - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

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Anglian Water said in a statement to the committee that they did not feel the “impact on the public foul sewerage network has not been adequately addressed at this stage”.

Watton councillor Keith Gilbert says the town's coronavirus crisis has brought people closer togethe

Independent councillor Keith Gilbert was among the members to raise concern about the development's flood management. - Credit: Ian Burt

Norfolk County Council’s flood management team meanwhile said it was not clear that there would be enough capacity to handle the surface water run-off from the development - and asked to see more information.

An officer assured the committee that conditions were in place to ensure the council was satisfied with the final arrangements before construction began. 

The sub-phase is planned to include 24 affordable homes, and will in total comprise six one-bedroom flats, 40 two-bedroom, 102 three-bedroom and 77 four-bedroom houses.

The entire first phase of the SUE, including the 225 homes, is expected to be complete by 2029. 

A similar SUE is in the process of being created in nearby Attleborough, where government agency Homes England have stepped in to accelerate the project.