South Norfolk Village Clusters Housing Allocations Plan (Reg. 18 Draft)

Ended on the 2 August 2021
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4. Barford, Marlingford, Colton and Wramplingham

Form and character



Barford is a compact settlement on the north bank of the River Tiffey. Development has extended northwards away from the B1108 along Cock Street and Style Loke, with frontage development to the north of Church Lane and along Chapel Street/Marlingford Road. The historic centre of the village is concentrated on Cock Street and Chapel Street with later estate development situated off Chapel Street at Park Avenue and Clarke Close. The village is set in the attractive valley of the River Tiffey and is characterised by mature tree planting. The most sensitive area of the village is situated on either side of Cock Street where the Hall and its grounds on the west side and the popular plantation on the east side, positively contribute to the form and character of the village.

Barford has a good road link via the B1108 to Norwich 13km to the east and links via mainly unclassified roads to Wymondham 6km to the south.



The main village is located in the bottom of the Yare Valley on the outside of a bend in the river.

Marlingford village has developed along two sides of a triangle formed by Barford Road and Mill Road, which radiate towards the south west from the junction with Marlingford Road. The junction forms the focal point of the village. To the north-east of the junction is the 'Old Hall' which is listed. The area around the Hall has remained undeveloped which contributes to its setting.

The wedge of land between Barford Road and Mill Road occupied previously by allotments and The Common has remained undeveloped and is locally regarded as Marlingford's amenity area used for conservation and recreation. This contributes to the rural character of Marlingford as a village set in open countryside within the river valley.



Historically, the settlement of Colton developed with a number of large farms and small cottages which have been joined up by frontage development to form a distinct settlement grouping. To the south of Norwich Road the buildings are set in large grounds with trees and hedges along the road frontage. The area to the north of Norwich Road falls within the administrative area of the Broadland District Council. Development along The Street is of higher density.


Development within the parish has been concentrated along Wymondham Road and The Street with the remainder of the parish displaying a dispersed settlement pattern comprising individual dwellings and farmsteads. The small scale development at Wymondham Road is linear in form and concentrated on the south side of the road.


Services and Community Facilities

Barford has a range of facilities including a village hall, shop and primary school. There are also a number of industrial and commercial concerns located within the centre of the village, which provide local employment opportunities. There is also a regular bus service. The remaining settlements have facilities limited to a village hall and public house, with a limited bus service.


Settlement Limit and Constraints


A Settlement Limit has been drawn to include the main built form of the settlement. A smaller Settlement Limit has been drawn around the existing properties on Church Lane to the west of the village, which includes the allocation south of Church Lane made within the 2016 Site Allocations Plan.

Much of the central part of Barford forms part of the Barford Flood Alleviation Scheme which helps to control flooding in the village. This has therefore constrained where development could be located in the village, and this area has been excluded from the Settlement Limit.



The Settlement Limit has been drawn to include the main built form of the settlement. Due to its rural character and very limited services the Settlement Limit has been drawn to allow only very limited infill development.



Due to the very limited facilities available in Colton the Settlement Limit has been drawn around the built form on Norwich Road, to allow for very limited infill development and to avoid further expansion into the surrounding countryside, preserving the rural character of the area.

No alterations are proposed to the existing settlement limits within this cluster.

QUESTION 17: Do you agree with the extent of the Settlement Limit and any changes proposed? If not, please explain what further changes should be made.

Preferred and Shortlisted Sites

8 sites have been promoted for consideration, of which 1 was shortlisted but no sites were identified as preferred allocations

Shortlisted Sites

On the basis of the assessment undertaken the following site has been identified as a reasonable alternative.



Location and reasons not preferred for allocation:


Land off Watton Road, Barford.

Shortlisted for up to 50 dwellings on a site of approximately 2.4 hectares in connection with the provision of significant public open space.

As promoted the site is excessive in scale in the context of the plan and would have a significant adverse impact on the wider landscape. A site of reduced size would be more appropriate, although it wouldn't offset all adverse landscape impacts. Due to the identified flood risk constraints on those parts of the site closest to the existing settlement new development would have a sub-optimal relationship with the main village. However, it may be possible to overcome the identified highways concerns and ensure appropriate access to village services through various highways mitigation measures. The site may also provide an opportunity to secure public open space that could be a benefit to the Village. This could justify a development in excess of the 12-25 homes that are typically being sought through the plan.


Rejected Sites

The following site(s) were promoted for development but have been rejected on the basis of information available at the time of assessment.


Location and Reasons for Rejection


Land south of Barford Church and north of Barnham Broom Road.

Development of the site would have a detrimental impact on the setting of the adjacent Grade II listed Church immediately to the north of the site. The inclusion of an area of open space to the south of the Church is not considered sufficient to overcome this impact and would reduce the developable area of the site. The site is removed from the existing settlement limit and has connectivity issues and is therefore also not considered to be suitable as a settlement limit extension.


Land south of Marlingford Road, Colton.

It is located in a prominent location within the landscape and would have a detrimental impact on the character and setting of Colton, particularly when approaching from the south. The local road network is also noted to have considerable constraints which cannot be overcome.


Land at Mill Road and Barford Road, Marlingford.

Development of the site would conflict with the linear pattern of development in evidence, eroding the character of the settlement. The site relates poorly to the existing services, including the local school. The site is also within a sensitive River Valley setting and furthermore, access constraints to the site have also been identified.


Land between Church Lane and Back Lane, Barford

Principle access is proposed via the existing allocation, BAR1, which has known access constraints. Furthermore, even at a reduced scale/ site size development in this location would have an adverse impact on the existing loose pattern form of development that characterises this part of the village.


Land west of Colton Road, Marlingford

Not suitable due to remote location of site and poor access


Land east of Highhouse Farm Lane, Colton

The benefits of an affordable housing led scheme are outweighed by the poor connectivity of the site, including its distance from the local primary school, as well as the impact development of the site would have on the existing form and character of the settlement. Significant highways network and access constraints have also been identified.


Land east of Highhouse Farm Lane, Colton

The site relates poorly to the existing services, including the primary school, and would have a poor relationship with the existing form and character of the settlement. Significant access and highway network constraints have also been identified and are considered to be further barriers to the development of this site.

(20) QUESTION 18: Do you think that any of the shortlisted or rejected site(s) should be allocated instead of, or in addition to, the preferred site(s)? Please add additional comments to explain your response and please specify which site(s) you are referring to.

(3) QUESTION 19: Do you think that any of the shortlisted site(s) should be rejected? Please add additional comments to explain your response and please specify which site(s) you are referring to.

To find out more about the Village Clusters Housing Allocations Plan, please visit our Virtual Exhibition.

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