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I’ll fight village grain silo development, says Norfolk businessman Mervyn Lambert

PUBLISHED: 15:32 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:32 16 August 2017

Mervyn Lambert. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Mervyn Lambert. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

A businessman says he is determined not allow a controversial decision to build a £10m agricultural plant in his village to go ahead - despite being told there are no other ways to challenge the move.

South Norfolk Council approved the application to build 27 grain storage silos and three grain driers in the Harvest House site off Low Road, in Bressingham, in March.

At the time, 25 residents raised objections to the development - but SNC’s development management committee found no reason to refuse the application on planning grounds.

This decision caused outrage amongst residents, who had raised concerns over the additional traffic the development would bring to the area, the visual impact of the silos, noise and air pollution.

But Mervyn Lambert - who lives in Bressingham and owns Mervyn Lambert Plant Ltd - decided to lodge a case of judicial review against South Norfolk Council on the grounds that a proper environmental impact assessment had not been submitted during the planning purpose.

However on Wednesday, August 2, this case was thrown out of the High Court by a judge.

In a statement a SNC spokesman said: “Following the decision by two judges that South Norfolk Council has followed the correct process in determining this application, there is now no further opportunity to challenge the planning approval in court.

“When all pre-commencement conditions have been fulfilled development will be able to start on site.”

But Mr Lambert, who has lived in Bressingham for 15 years, said: “The legal battle is not over.

“I am certain that this application will fail.

“Watch this space, I don’t do failure.

“I have already spent a considerable amount of money and I’ll have to spend some more to stop this.

“The development is sacrificing the beauty of the Waveney Valley. The site is simply unsuitable.”

Rob Sanderson, head of store sevelopment at Openfield, said: “From a planning point of view we have followed the due process.

“Admittedly things evolved during the process but we needed to modernise the site to make it economically viable.

“From the start we have been aware of Mr Lambert’s concerns. We feel there has been a lot of misinformation but ultimately we’ve just followed the process.”

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