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

Ended on the 2 August 2021
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15. Forncett St Mary and Forncett St Peter

Form and character


Forncett St Mary and Forncett St Peter are both linear in form and have developed along Aslacton Road/ Low Road which follows the line of the Tas Valley. The buildings comprise mainly farms and cottages interspersed with open fields and more recent development. The majority of new development has taken place at Forncett St Peter. A conservation area is drawn around most of the settlements and numerous listed and historic buildings feature within it. The undeveloped flood plain of the River Tas valley is located to the east.

Services and Community Facilities

Forncett St Peter has limited facilities; a school and bus and Forncett St Mary has the village hall. These settlements share these dispersed facilities and others that are located at Forncett End/Tacolneston, although these are much further afield.

Settlement Limit and Constraints


The Settlement Limit has been drawn around the cluster of linear development form at Forncett St Mary leaving its more dispersed outlying areas outside and around the existing built-up area of Forncett St Peter in order to prevent the linear spread of the settlement into the surrounding valley landscape. The Settlement Limit as defined for these settlements allows for limited infill development and takes account of the proximity to services maintains the space between the two villages and conserves the rural character of the area. No alterations are proposed to the existing Settlement Limit.

(1) QUESTION 54: 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

7 sites have been promoted for consideration, of which none were identified as preferred or shortlisted sites.


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 at Spicers Lane, Forncett St Mary

The site is separated from the main part of the settlement and the existing Settlement Limit for Forncett St Mary. The surrounding and immediate highway network is substandard with no safe walking route to the school. Whilst it is adjacent to existing residential development along Spicers Lane, further development would impact on an otherwise rural area where the character is limited of development. The site is also within close proximity to Grade II Listed Buildings to the south which could cause heritage impacts however it is considered that these impacts could potentially be mitigated.


Four Seasons Nursery, Cheneys Lane, Forncett St. Mary

Development of the site would constitute backland development and would have an adverse impact on the form and character of the current very rural area. Since the initial GNLP submission, a point of access has been identified to the east via Spicers Lane, where highway evidence has highlighted concerns of the possibility of creating a suitable access to the site. The local road network is considered to be unsuitable in terms of road capacity or lack of footpath provision, where there is limited accessibility to services, other than a bus stop and School. Development of the site would result in the loss of Grade 2 agricultural land which is identified as Very Good Quality Agricultural Land that has minor limitations which affect crop yield, cultivations or harvesting. In addition to this, the site is located near to the River Valley, Forncett Conservation Area and within the curtilage of the Four Seasons Grade II Listed Building.


Land to the south of North Field Road & Land to the west and south of Long Stratton Road, Forncetts

The site has a poor relationship with the existing village/built up areas (Forncett St Mary/Peter and Forncett End), where development could adversely affect the natural rural landscape setting. The sites provide an important gap between development in Forncett End to the east and Forncett St Mary to the west. Where whilst there is sporadic development surrounding the parcels of land identified, these are minimal groupings of 1 or 2 houses. Highways have raised concerns with the poor highway network surrounding the sites that have limited footpaths. A development of reduced scale would not sufficiently address these concerns.


Kilamay Farm, Wash Lane

The site is largely detached form the existing settlement where there are limited services and facilities. The site is located to the south of a group of Listed Buildings, including the Grade I St Peter Church and associated. The views between these heritage assets and the site are largely uninterrupted where developed could impact on their setting. The site is also within the Tas Rural River Valley which also provides an attractive rural setting, any landscape impact would need to be mitigated. Highway constraints have also been identified; access is via a narrow rural carriageway. The site is located opposite a commercial use (currently used as a mechanic yard) where there are potential concerns regarding amenity issues.


Land at mill Road / Overwood Lane / Gilderswood

Whilst the site is part of a smaller group of dwellings along Mill Road, the site is detached from the main areas of the settlement and is not adjacent to any existing settlement boundaries. The site is rural in character with site frontage hedges that provide the setting to the monument asset identified, where development in this location would impact upon the heritage setting. Development of this site would result in encroachment into the countryside, beyond the existing boundaries of the settlement and would have a landscape impact as a result.


Low Road, Forncett St Mary

The site is constrained due to access and highways issues, the impact upon the historic character and the detrimental townscape impact the development would have. Whilst the site is in close proximity to the school and the existing Settlement Limit, it has a poor relationship with existing residential development, both in terms of form and connectivity. Areas of the site are also affected by surface water flood risk. Off-site highway works would also be required.


Tawny Farm, Station Road, Forncett St Peter

Highway safety concerns have been identified in that the site lies on the north side of Station Road, on the inside of an "S" bend, with the existing access being located approximately 45m to the east of the railway bridge. This part of Station Road is largely a national speed limit road of a relatively narrow width and few opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists to seek refuge on the road verge. The Highways Authority have suggested that substantial highway works, and land dedication would be required to form a safe access, combined with an appropriate treatment of Station Road junction with Wacton Road. It is also note that the existing buildings on site comprise two units of holiday accommodation where it has not been demonstrated that the holiday accommodation is not economically viable as holiday accommodation. This would need further investigation. The site is in the setting of 3 listed buildings, meaning that development to the south end of the site would have an impact on the setting of these designated heritage assets, however development could be reasonably mitigated.

(3) QUESTION 55: Do you think that any of the rejected sites should be shortlisted or preferred for allocation? 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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