May 18 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The result of a planning inquiry into an appeal against a Norfolk council for failing to determine a planning application within a time period should be known within six weeks.
The two day hearing, chaired by planning inspector Frances Mahoney, concluded yesterday (Wednesday) into David Alston’s plans to remove a grain store, demolish four bungalows, convert barns into eight homes and build 10 new homes at Shrublands in Attleborough Road, Old Buckenham.
The inquiry heard the developer had already lodged the appeal against Breckland Council a month before the council approved the plans in October.
The council is demanding the developer pay its costs for fighting the appeal, which it claimed was unnecessary as the proposal was eventually approved and the inspector will decide whether to award these costs as well as upholding the appeal.
On Tuesday, Tim Leader, a solicitor for the applicant, said the appeal was launched because the council had not made a decision on a viability statement submitted by the applicant on financial contributions the developer would have to make towards community infrastructure projects in Old Buckenham.
He added there had been meetings between the applicant and the council at which the applicant was assured no viability statement would be needed, but a statement was still submitted at the beginning of August which had not been determined by the council before the planning approval.
But Michael Horn, the council’s solicitor, said the developer had not submitted a viability statement with its planning application in February last year and the council had made it clear a statement would be needed.
He said: “The council was assured the applicant would get back to the planning authority, but they didn’t, they merely appealed.”
The inquiry also heard from Breckland councillor Adrian Joel, who represents Buckenham ward and called on the council to reject the appeal on the grounds the development was over a mile outside the settlement boundary of Old Buckenham and there was no justification for it in terms of agriculture, forestry or tourism.
On Wednesday, Mr Leader read a closing speech stating the homes would clear up an “eyesore” site and would provide 18 homes in a high quality built environment which would meet the need for housing in the Breckland district and help to sustain local shops and services.
He added there was agreement between the council and the developer that the site was unable to support contributions to affordable housing or open space.
Nearly 3,000 people have supported a Facebook campaign demanding safety improvements on the A47 near Dereham set up after the latest fatal crash.
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