Breckland Local Plan

Update June 2024

Breckland Draft Local Plan – New Consultation

Breckland District Council has announced the latest consultation for their emerging Local Plan, which will give residents their first opportunity to comment on sites which have been suggested for housing. Unfortunately, this opportunity has only been given after Breckland has decided which of the proposed sites to put into the draft Plan as their “preferred” ones.

Two sites have been "preferred" for North Elmham: one for 10 houses off (lower) Back Lane, and one for 30 houses behind and to the south of (lower) Eastgate. Further details of these and of the other sites put forward in the Call for Sites can be viewed on Breckland’s Commonplace website for the Local Plan at: . Although these two sites have been preferred at this stage, they are not yet set in stone, so comments on these and the other potential sites can be made, as well as comments on other aspects of the draft Local Plan. If residents feel strongly about any of the sites, make these thoughts known through the consultation.

North Elmham as a designated Local Service Centre will have to have some new housing during the period of the new Local Plan, with thinking currently being that most growth will be focussed in the market towns, which will receive about 75% of the new housing across the District. This figure for new housing in North Elmham is 40 new houses over the Plan period to 2046.

The consultation has been announced to run from 3rd June to 15th July, with a local drop-in event at Dereham Leisure Centre on 3rd June, with additional events on Zoom on 5th (12.30pm – 2.00pm) and 17th June (6.30pm – 8.00pm) and 3rd July (6.30pm – 8.00pm.)

Residents will also be able to comment on other aspects of the draft Local Plan, one of these being on the proposal to remove settlement boundaries, to allow some new development outside existing boundaries, subject to a range of criteria, which would be in addition to any allocated sites covered above. The Parish Council and many others were concerned about this proposal and commented accordingly in earlier consultations. In the first consultation in 2023, 53% of those responding to the question about settlement boundaries said they wanted them to remain, with 21% wanting them removed. In the consultation earlier this year, question 2 asked whether Breckland should “continue with a settlement boundary approach or develop a criteria-based policy”, with 69% of the respondents to that question saying that settlement boundaries should be continued, with 26% in favour of developing a criteria-based policy. Despite these clear majorities in favour of keeping settlement boundaries, Breckland has decided to remove them and adopt a criteria-based approach in the draft Local Plan: it makes one wonder what is the purpose of consultations?!

One positive to come out of previous consultations is that the proposal for a new town in Bintree, Billingford and North Elmham has not been put into the draft Local Plan: good news indeed!

The Parish Council will discuss its response to the new consultation at their meeting on 3rd June, with this being finalised at the July meeting.

Michael Rayner, Councillor & Planning Lead, North Elmham Parish Council


Update June 2023 

With Breckland Council's initial Issues & Options consultation now closed, we await the results. There has been overwhelming opposition to the concept of a new settlement, particularly one in the North Elmham/Billingford/Bintree area. Huge thanks go to everyone who has answered the call to submit responses. North Elmham Parish Council has requested a further round of consultation on Breckland's emerging Local Plan, so that everyone has an opportunity to comment on specific sites which have been put forward as potential sites for development. This would be before the currently planned next consultation on the sites which Breckland prefers at that point. In the meantime, we all need to remain vigilant - a role which has been taken on with great energy and effectiveness by John Hoskins, co-ordinator of CANT (Campaign Against the New Town.)

North Elmham Parish Council


CAMPAIGN AGAINST the NEW TOWN (CANT) between Bintree, Billingford and North Elmham

Breckland Council are updating their planning policy. The first step is a public consultation to get the community’s views on the housing that the district needs over the next 20 years.

A key question in their document is: “Should there be a new settlement Garden Town/Village within Breckland?

The only ‘new settlement’ that is being considered, in the short term, is a site for 5,000 houses in a remote area of fertile agricultural land between Bintree, Billingford and North Elmham.  Should this go ahead the very nature of mid Norfolk, and what attracts people to it, would change forever. It would impact a wide area due to the immense infrastructure changes required, along with decades of construction and associated traffic. Those villages, and maybe others, would simply cease to exist as they were absorbed into this development. The site lies adjacent to the highly valued and protected River Wensum and sits above a large chalk aquifer, so the environmental impacts for Norfolk could be considerable and irreversible, when food security, pollution issues and water resources are all major concerns at a time of uncertainty and climate change.

We need to focus the Council’s attention on developing affordable homes for local people, close to existing employment, public transport and facilities. Development should support our towns and villages, not use land vital for food production.

PLEASE HELP! Assuming it won’t happen is not enough.

Go online to: and go to the ‘Issues & Options Response form’.

All you need to do is fill in your details on page 2 (which will not be used or published) and simply say NO to Question 13 on page 8.  If you want to fill in more answers, that’s great, but our key concern is simply to reject the idea of the new town.

Alternatively, you can simply copy and paste the text below into a new email and return it to this address – and feel free to add as much extra text as you would like.

To Breckland Council

"Issues and Options" Consultation 2023

In response to Q.13: Should there be a new settlement Garden Town/Village developed within Breckland?

My answer is:

My name:

My address:

My e-mail:

If not a Breckland resident, my interest in this issue is:


If you have received a paper version of this form through your letter box it can also be returned to the Elmham Tea Post who have a box to collect responses and you can also pick up a form there to complete (during Post Office opening hours).

Please pass this on to all your friends, relations and contacts. Every individual can send a response, whoever they are, wherever they live.

Follow CANT on Instagram @campaignagainstnewtown – and ‘like’ and comment on as many pictures as you can, we need the message to be loud and clear.

CANT is fully endorsed by North Elmham Parish Council

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