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Hoveton business could move following planning setback - boss

The boss of a Hoveton firm has warned they may have to move after a planning setback. Picture of Hoveton sign: Alex Hurrell

The boss of a Hoveton firm has warned they may have to move after a planning setback. Picture of Hoveton sign: Alex Hurrell

A Broadland business could be forced to move out of the area following a planning setback, its boss has warned.

Ian Wilson, director and owner of Benthic Solutions in Marsh Road, Hoveton said they desperately need to relocate to larger premises in Church Field.

But plans for 25 new homes, including seven affordable, in Church Field, which would have enabled the move, were deferred by North Norfolk District Council’s development committee on Thursday, August 3. Planning permission for the commercial development in Church Field was approved by the council in February.

Afterwards, Mr Wilson said: “We might be left with no other option other than to move out of the area if we cannot get a resolution to grant planning permission. Our move is six months overdue already and the need for new premises has never been greater.”

He said the firm, which is a marine environmental consultancy and survey company, employed too many staff for its current premises. Should the move go-ahead, he said the 11 current staff would relocate to the new site, and up to 45 new jobs could be created in the future.

The controversial proposals were opposed by the parish council ahead of the meeting, as being outside the development area, but the recommendation before the committee was for approval.

However, councillors, including Sarah Butikofer, deferred the plans. She said: “I accept that economic development has to be balanced against it being in the countryside. But there is also talk of archaeological remains between the church and farmhouse, and this has not been explored.”

Councillors Karen Ward and Nigel Pearce were concerned about drainage, and he said the committee should be consistent in not approving developments in the countryside.

Councillor Nigel Lloyd added: “Only one company will benefit from this enabling project, which does not smack right to me.”

Julian Wells, director of locally-based developer FW Properties, said: “The business wants to stay and grow in the village. It would be in a sustainable location, next to the primary school.”

He said they would now address the issues raised by councillors and come back to committee at the earliest opportunity.

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