A top judge has refused to block controversial plans for 5,000 new homes to the north-east of Thetford despite concerns for the welfare of an endangered bird.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The Shadwell Estate, just outside Thetford, had challenged the Thetford Area Action Plan (TAAP), a blueprint for growth for the area drawn up by Breckland Council.

The estate, which owns a large tract of agricultural and equine land in the area, had argued that the plans were a clear threat to Norfolk’s rarest visitor, the stone curlew, which had its own special protection area to the south and east of the town.

It also argued a 1,500m “buffer zone” around the special protection area, in which development would be banned, was inadequate and that the birds nest up to 2,500m out of that area, on the Kilverstone Estate, which owns much of the disputed land.

Dismissing the case, High Court judge Mr Justice Beatson said the council had carefully taken into account the potential impact on the birds and its plans had the “strong support” of Natural England and bird protection charity, the RSPB.

He said any evidence that the birds nest outside the special protection area was considered “anecdotal” by the RSPB and “considerable weight” had to be given to the endorsement of the 1,500m buffer zone by the charity and Natural England.

He concluded Shadwell had not provided “cogent and compelling reasons” for doubting those views and there was no evidence of sufficient breeding attempts by stone curlews on the Kilverstone Estate to justify it being placed within the buffer zone.

Chris Kennard, finance director at Shadwell Estate, said: “We are surprised and naturally disappointed by this judgment. It should be remembered that our challenge would not have been made without the backing of Thetford Town Council and many people in the town, who will no doubt share our disappointment. We have already been advised by our lawyers that there may well be grounds for appeal and we are therefore considering our position. We were attempting to secure a future for Thetford that is in the best interests of its citizens. This remains our aspiration.”

Mark Kiddle-Morris, Breckland Council executive member for assets and strategic development, said: “We are delighted that the judgment from Lord Justice Beatson has validated the soundness of the Thetford Area Action Plan. This provides certainty for the future regeneration and growth of Thetford, which is a priority for the council.”

10 comments

  • The local council could twin themselves with whoever makes up the new bods moving into the homes...may I suggest Bucharest, as over 1.6 million will be heading to Norfolk to pick some cabbages over the summer.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • PC what do you think some margarines and vegetable oils are made from if not oil seed rape oil? I thought it read as if the Shadwell estate was having this plan forced on them. From what I have seen elsewhere of how area plans are made is pretty much in nine bob note land-ie bent- with collusions between developers and bands of councillors and lobby groups and some landowners. Whilst other landowners have their long term plans and financial plans thrown into disarray and come out on the down side and existing residents have their towns and villages overcrowded.There are idealistic plans and schemes and pretty drawings and pies in the sky floated and accepted one after the other until the reality materialises of estates that are plain nasty for people to live in.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • They are turning Norfolk into a ----hole.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • Unsure where the idea that the Council is purchasing the land comes from,

    Report this comment

    Robert Kybird

    Monday, January 14, 2013

  • Someone probably shipped them in there!...Are you talking about the birds?, or the immigrants from London that will will be shipped there?

    Report this comment

    WTH

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • 5,000 HOUSES? NO!

    Report this comment

    John Filowiat

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • Someone probally shipped them in there!

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • Look at the landowners involved who are benefiting if you want to understand this. MKM is delighted, sure he is, if one of his council chums is set for a multi-million pound windfall. That seems to be the main objective of the TAAP. Funny, I saw Truss spouting the other day in an article about protecting farmland from development. Something to do with growing food, not that the huge swathes of yellow clothing the countryside every spring have anything to do with food, but as one of DC's paras she couldn't be expected to know about farming matters of course.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • This is shocking. the council is effectively compulsory purchasing agricultural land and if it were a smaller estate potentially making an enterprise non viable so that it can build houses where ever it wants and impose an area plan on people who do not want to be part of it. There must be plenty of other landowners willing to sell their land and we all know developers are sitting on land stocks and that councils dont bother about the quality of life or developments or they would not have allowed Red Lodge . All so thatThetford can build houses for Cambridge commuters, EU migrants and the offspring of London overspill. This should be a cause of anxiety to anyone who owns a bit of land, no matter how small, where councils want to build, because under new Tory laws they can take it with no guarantee of a fair price above agricultural value and make a huge gain for developers and councils. And with no guarantee there will be no dodgy dealing and conniving between councils and house builders So much for an Englishman's home..

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • They are turning Norfolk into a ----hole...I think you will find it is our Government and the EU's idea for the whole country...A lovely London in every county.

    Report this comment

    WTH

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 25°C

min temp: 18°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT