A major development that has faced repeated backlash from locals is due to be given the green light.

Hopkins Homes' bid to build 343 homes and a care home in North Walsham on a site next to North Walsham Garden Centre has been recommended for approval by officers at North Norfolk Council.

The development has been progressing over several years and a separate outline planning application has now been put forward for seven self-build plots and a 66-bed care home on land south of Norwich Road.

Eastern Daily Press: The homes could be built on land behind North Walsham Garden CentreThe homes could be built on land behind North Walsham Garden Centre (Image: Google)

But locals continue to object to the scheme, worrying it will lead to the loss of protected trees and harm wildlife in the area.

The threat to the nearby woodlands even led to a petition being launched by worried townsfolk who wanted to protect the woodland from the development.

Eastern Daily Press: Nursery Drive woods in North WalshamNursery Drive woods in North Walsham (Image: Avril Smith)

There are also concerns that North Walsham, which has a population of about 12,000 people, will be unable to cope with the big increase in people living in the area due to a lack of shops, spaces at schools and the increased pressure on GP surgeries.

The low number of affordable homes proposed has previously led to the strategic housing officer at NNDC to object to the scheme but this has later been revised due to the developer's assessment that the development would be unviable if a higher allocation of the homes were affordable housing.

The application has been recommended for approval, providing an agreement is reached on the amount the developer will pay in Section 106 payments, which will support local infrastructure.

The final decision is to be delegated to the director for place and climate change as the authority is still waiting on responses from Natural England, the Norfolk County Council's flood experts and the environmental protection officer at NNDC.

It will be discussed at a meeting this Thursday.