Thetford Town Council will use a cross-party campaign to fight Breckland Council after suffering a boundary request setback.
At the town’s planning committee meeting on Tuesday, the proposed 5,000-home Kingsfleet development in the Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE), which lies in the parishes of Croxton and Kilverstone and adjacent to the parish of Brettenham, was discussed – the town council wants to extend the town’s boundary to encompass.
After initial public consultation, Breckland’s Community Governance Review (CGR) Sub Committee, on March 28, looked at the responses and members decided to proceed with the second stage of public consultation, they proposed the boundary should remain unchanged.
Town Cllr Brenda Canham said: “What I do not understand is that we had this governance review which went out to the people of Thetford and had around 500 people respond.
“But then saying they now will leave it until the houses have been built, what was the use of those people doing it?”
Out of the 525 responses, 433 Thetfordians gave their opinions but Breckland told the council it was not a ‘significant amount’ and also said it felt those living in the upcoming SUE should be consulted, and this should be carried out when the houses are built and occupied.
Town, Breckland and Norfolk County Councillor Roy Brame said: “Thetford Town Council have to tell Breckland that they do not understand what they have done by saying it is premature to do this until the people are in the houses, to do that you are expecting turkeys to vote for Christmas.”
He also said this had caused a rift with residents groups in the town where boundaries had been changed before.
He said: “If Breckland have said 500 responses is not enough and they want 5,000 from us to agree, then that is what we will give them.”
The next public consultation on the boundary plans is from April 16 to June 22 and the town council has united to launch a campaign to get opinions heard.
This includes councillors taking up a market stall so residents can talk to them face to face and for them to talk to people on their doorsteps.
Cllr Denis Crawford said: “All of us here are in favour of fighting this because it is important to the people of Thetford and this time round we have to step it up.”
Once this consultation closes, the sub-committee will consider the responses and make a final recommendation to council in the autumn.