In 2014, South Norfolk Council published its Local Plan. The plan suggested that 10 to 20 houses should be built in LM over the next 10 years. The development at Ringwood Close provided 20 houses, 6 of which were 'affordable'. Subsequent developments at Limes Close and All Saints (each of 30 houses) were allowed because there was judged to be a shortfall in the housing supply for the Greater Norwich Development Area. Recently, a planning inspector overruled SNC and gave permission for 30 more houses to be built south of School Lane because the inspector considered that there was still a shortfall in the housing supply. So 110 houses will be built in LM instead of the 20 that were planned.
In 2018, landowners offered the sites shown here, for development. More sites have subsequently been offered. These sites are all outside the current Settlement Boundary. Because the Parish Boundary has changed, the Settlement Boundary for Hethersett is also relevant. LM Parish Council is guided by the 2006 Parish Plan, in which residents stated that they did not want development outside of the settlement boundary and the PC has objected to all recent applications to build outside of the boundary. The planning system works on precedent and the PC has to be consistent in its approach. It can only make an exception if it can demonstrate that there is a material planning reason why a development would benefit the parish (such as a Doctor's surgery or an improvement to the street scene etc). The personal circumstances of the applicant are not considered to be a material planning consideration - buildings last for hundreds of years and permission can never be removed. Given that there is currently planning permission to build a further 30 houses in LM and that many hundreds are being built nearby, the PC does not consider that there is a housing shortage.
Clearly there are people who would like the current Settlement Boundary to be extended. The GNLP is currently being updated for the period up to 2036 and we expect to soon be told how many houses will be allocated to LM. At that point, people will have the opportunity to comment on the plan and suggest where they would like to see further development.