Campaigners prepare for final fight in bid to stop 70 new homes in Costessey
06:30 10 July 2012
Archant Norfolk Copyright
Campaigners fighting a Costessey housing development are hoping to win a “landmark” case next week, by dismissing a planning appeal.
A planning inquiry on Tuesday July 17 will investigate why South Norfolk Council rejected a bid to build 70 new homes on Townhouse Road.
The inspector will hear evidence from the council about the rejection and the developer, Green and Norwich Consolidated Charities, about why the homes should be allowed.
Stewart Blackburn, chairman of Townhouse Road Action Group, said the inquiry could be the last chance to save the site.
He said: “The proposed development is significantly flawed, and would have irreversible devastating impacts on the local environment and community if it went ahead.
“The volume of written objections to the proposed development is testimony to the sheer strength of local opposition.”
Campaigners hope a book they have published called Save Our River Valley will help their case.
The book contains photos from campaigner Tom Reed, who took pictures around Costessey to show how the development would be seen from across the area.
He said: “I was amazed how you can see the site everywhere.
“It is probably the most visible site in Costessey.”
Councillor Vivienne Bell, Chairman of Costessey Parish Council, called on people who opposed the development to come to Tuesday’s meeting to show the strength of support.
She said: “Costessey Parish Council and the action group feel that this is a landmark case which could set a monumental precedent for other future developments.
“If South Norfolk Council’s refusal to grant planning permission is not upheld, we are very concerned that the five-year housing supply target will outweigh all issues, and the countryside and river valleys of South Norfolk could lie open to ruin.”
Bidwells who represent the developer declined to comment ahead of the hearing.
•The Planning Inquiry starts at 10am on Tuesday at the Costessey Centre on Longwater Lane and is open to members of the public.
•Do you have a story about Costessey for the Evening News? Contact reporter Tom Bristow on 01603772313.