Anger at changes to plan

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A DECISION to alter plans for a multi-million pound housing development on a town estate has been met with opposition.

The Sweyn Close development will provide 66 new homes on the Barnham Cross Estate, in Thetford.

The houses were originally planned to be a mix of social and private housing, but Flagship Peddars Way Housing, the group behind the project, has now decided that the new homes will be totally made up of social housing.

The move has been backed by Breckland Council but Thetford town councillors have questioned the changes.

Terry Jermy, Thetford town councillor for the Saxon ward, said: “I am so frustrated and shocked that they are doing this.

“The big concern is that we already have a big concentration of social housing this side of town.

“I am not saying that people who rent social housing aren’t going to look after them, but research shows that those types of homes are more prone to deteriorating .”

At a meeting of the town council last Wednesday, councillors voted to write a letter to Breckland voicing their disapproval.

But five councillors, including three from the Saxon ward, where the development is based, abstained from the vote.

Flagship has pointed to the economic downturn as the catalyst for the changes, saying the original plans were ‘not financially viable’.

Breckland says the Homes and Communities Agency would not have supported the scheme had the plans not been altered.

Referring to the decision being made, a spokesman from Breckland said: “If we hadn’t (changed the plan) there was a chance the requisite amount of funding from all sources would not have been obtained and part of that site would have sat vacant into the future only part redeveloped.”