What is the plan?
In July 2018 the John Deere franchise and agricultural engineers Ben Burgess Ltd presented plans to the village of Swainsthorpe outlining their objective to develop 28.4 acres of agricultural land inside the Parish Boundary.
In Ben Burgess words ”an agricultural horticultural and construction/machinery repair and retail facility, office accommodation and areas for storage and demonstration purposes”.
This plan which has yet to go to South Norfolk District Council Planning Department is bigger than the current village footprint and will substantially impact upon the people and homes in the village.
What are the benefits for Swainsthorpe?
What will we get?
The Ben Burgess company have declared that they will require “122 staff parking spaces and 193 machinery parking spaces”.
Once this land is re-designated for industrial development it is here FOREVER. If Ben Burgess Ltd cease trading, are taken over or move then the buildings are sold on for other industrial use which could be anything!
Constant drone of tractors and other heavy machinery moving around the site exacerbated by the testing of engines. Cars coming and going. Use of the “demonstration site”.
From 24/7 lighting and security lighting and alarms.
From diesel/petrol engines other fuels and chemicals.
from storage of diesel and fuels, chemicals and fireworks in a building near to the railway.
Substantial civil engineering will be required to change the use of the agricultural land for a stand alone retail site and engineering facility. This will have a major impact on the village and the A140.
The site has no services for drainage of sewage, industrial waste water and oils.
No electrical power and phone coverage is also poor.
Loss of Amenity
These fields form part of a popular circular walk adjoining Hickling Way which is a Roman/Saxon thoroughfare of significant historical interest and connects with other bridleways. Any interference with Hickling Way at any point is totally unacceptable.
Loss of View
This development denigrates the countryside and ruins the visual approach to the ancient village of Swainsthorpe.
The view of St Peters Church from Hickling Lane will be completely lost forever.
Loss of Countryside
Green fields taken over for industrial development.
These fields have been successfully cropped and productive for many generations.
The fields form an important natural drainage function and wild life corridor.
This development could result in the felling of 300yr old oak trees and the removal of the protective banks and planting which currently screens the village from the A140.
Access and exit to this proposed site from the A140 is extremely dangerous even without the heavy industrial plant and equipment and sits on a bend with limited vision.
A proposed ghost island is less than 100yds from the entry to the village.
As a site for the promotion of a major international franchise for large agricultural equipment and as a retail centre for the general public it is heavily compromised offering farmers and clients severely restricted access on one of the busiest and most congested. roads in the county.
The combined effect of this development plus the planned developments in Mulbarton, Long Stratton and other areas adjoining the A140 will put further pressure on a road already at standstill during rush hour periods.