A cabinet minister will make the final decision whether homes should be built on land overlooking Wymondham Abbey after his department responded to calls to directly intervene in a controversial planning application.

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Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman wrote to Eric Pickles asking him to “call-in” a bid for 70 new homes in the River Tiffey Valley.

In a letter to the communities secretary, Mr Freeman argued that “granting planning permission here would send a devastating message to the people of Wymondham and South Norfolk” because it would “significantly harm the landscape”.

In a response, Nick Boles, parliamentary under-secretary of state for planning, said: “I have carefully considered your request, and have decided that the appeal should be recovered because of the particular circumstances.”

“Akin to building upon the meadows which surround Salisbury Cathedral” - Vicar slams bid for new homes near to Wymondham Abbey

Government planning inspector Jeremy Sargent held a public inquiry into the plans over seven days in October and February after the applicant, the Fairfield Partnership, appealed against South Norfolk Council’s decision to refuse the application. He will now only make a recommendation for Mr Pickles to consider.

Mr Boles stressed: “My decision to recover the appeal cannot be seen as an indicator to the way it will ultimately be determined.”

Mr Freeman said: “I’m delighted that the government has listened to my representation about the need to preserve the integrity and beauty of the Tiffey Valley, Wymondham Abbey and the heritage of this beautiful market town.”

He said Wymondham needed “some new housing and infrastructure” but that it was also important to “preserve the landscape and heritage of the Abbey and the surrounding area”.

What do you think? Call EDP reporter Andrew Papworth on 01379 651153 or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

5 comments

  • Why does Wymondham NEED New hosing. What it needs is to be left alone in its own beauty rather than some overspill for waif and strays

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    Ian F

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • South Norfolk Council has alot to answer for. There is viable land and plots around that they have turned down, The worst people to deal with.

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    sharky

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • They will have their way in the end at some point, as the same people are both gamekeeper and poacher.

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    Vic Sponge

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • South Norfolk Council has alot to answer for. There is viable land and plots around that they have turned down, The worst people to deal with.

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • A real news story would be how much GF is being paid by Big Pharma to be cheerleader for the sell-off of everyone's medical records.

    Report this comment

    B Ungatory

    Monday, March 24, 2014

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

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