July 23 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
A housing scheme to build 53 homes in a greenfield site on the outskirts of Lowestoft was thrown out by councillors tonight.
The plan to build 47 houses and six flats at Hall Lane in Oulton saw a meeting of Waveney District Council’s development control committee unanimously vote against it.
Badger Building (E. Anglia) Ltd’s plan had been recommended for refusal by planning officers as the greenfield site was not suitable for the development and the scheme was contrary to council planning policy.
The developer had argued that there was a need for more housing in Lowestoft and Waveney due to a long waiting list – but the council said it had enough homes planned in a five year housing blueprint for the district.
Residents had also feared the new homes would adversely affect the character of the area, including the nearby grade II* listed Manor House, parts of which date back to the 16th century.
Hundreds of residents had sent in objections, including a chain letter received from 272 addresses.
Brian Hunter, chairman of Oulton Parish Council, addressed the development control committee tonight.
He said: “In our view the proposal ignores the countryside lane character of Hall Lane.”
Ann O’Callaghan spoke on behalf of Oulton residents and asked councillors to follow their wishes and reject the plan for their village, which is already facing the 800 home Woods Meadow development.
She said: “It would be foolish to contemplate another development. We are relying on you to do the right thing for us tonight.”
The meeting heard that Badger Building firmly believed there was a need for new homes in the area, with 15,000 people on a housing list - which could be partially tackled by the construction of the homes at Hall Lane, 17 of which would be affordable properties.
Before the unanimous vote against the plans, councillors spoke out against the construction of the 53 homes on greenfield land.
Paul Ashdown, councillor for Lothingland ward, said: “This is not the right place to put a development of this magnitude.”
Roger Bellham, councillor for St Margarets ward, said: “We need homes but we also need countryside.”
Malcolm Pitchers, who represents Pakefield, said: “This is the wrong application in the wrong place.”
In the planning documents officers had argued that the “over-riding question” was whether the need for housing, including affordable homes, outweighed planning policy.