Horsford families’ anger over start of 125-home development - despite breach of regulations

11:08 13 September 2014

Residents of Horsford upset at the breach of planning permission as builders remove the topsoil at a site for housing on Mill Lane. From left, front, Mick Sweeney and Kevin O

Residents of Horsford upset at the breach of planning permission as builders remove the topsoil at a site for housing on Mill Lane. From left, front, Mick Sweeney and Kevin O'Gorman. Back, Broadland councillor John Starling, Pete Laws, Andy Mills and Mark Smith, at Andy Mills' property overlooking the site. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

copyright: Archant 2014

Furious families living near to a building site have slammed council officials for allowing work to begin on scores of homes – despite admitting the developers had breached planning regulations.

Residents of Horsford upset at the breach of planning permission as builders remove the topsoil at a site for housing on Mill Lane. The site entrance at Mill Lane. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYResidents of Horsford upset at the breach of planning permission as builders remove the topsoil at a site for housing on Mill Lane. The site entrance at Mill Lane. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Proposals to build 125 homes on Sharps Hall Farm, on Mill Lane, Horsford, were approved last year despite people in the village campaigning against them.

One of the conditions of the approval by Broadland District Council was that developers carried out a raft of safety improvements in the area before the work began.

However, people living near the site are furious that builder David Wilson Homes have begun construction, even though new paths, a zebra crossing and widened roads have not been built.

So concerned with the lack of safety around the site are staff at the nearby primary school, they have taken to accompanying children across the road.

Residents of Horsford upset at the breach of planning permission as builders remove the topsoil at a site for housing on Mill Lane. Mark Smith. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYResidents of Horsford upset at the breach of planning permission as builders remove the topsoil at a site for housing on Mill Lane. Mark Smith. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mark Smith, 42, who lives on Mill Road with his four children, said there was construction work on three sides of nearby Horsford Junior as a result.

He added: “If they had done the work first it wouldn’t be half as bad for the children. It’s wrong they haven’t taken it into consideration.

“It’s only about a third of the way though, the head teacher is helping the children across the road because it’s not safe.

“If you don’t enforce it now, at what point are you going to start?”

He said residents were hoping the council would impose a stop notice, a severe penalty which the council only serves in extreme circumstances.

Council planning enforcement officer Steve Kenny admitted it was “clear that the developer has breached a condition on the planning approval”, but said: “The site has been prepared and drainage channels have been dug.

“The works were to facilitate access to the storage and welfare compound that will be located at the rear of the site. This constitutes commencement.”

Despite breaking condition, he said the council felt it was “not considered expedient” to take formal action against the contractor.

Peter Biggs, head of planning for David Wilson Homes Eastern Counties, said: “We have been in contact with the council about this matter, and explained that whilst the off-site highway works are well underway, we will be completing them within the next six weeks.

“The works on the site are in connection with setting up our work compound and access into the construction site. The council have advised us that subject to completing the off-site works within the next six weeks, it is not their intention to pursue enforcement action.

“We will of course try to complete the highway works sooner if we can, and will attempt to keep disruption to a minimum.”

Do you think the council should take formal action? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, NR1 1RE or email EDPletters@archant.co.uk

7 comments

  • Stop moaning it's only 125, be thankful you don't live in Easton."1000 new homes between Costessey and Easton".

    Report this comment

    Alva

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

  • It seems like the councillors are behaving like so many parents. Say something must be done but take no action when it isn't.

    Report this comment

    jennifer jane

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

  • The fact is these developers now have a carte blanche to more or less as they like, you voted or didn't bother to vote, which let these people in who then let the developers ride roughshod over the general public, so you know what to do next time don't you?

    Report this comment

    D. ROSS

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

  • " Not considered expedient "? I wonder how " expedient" it would be for the council if a house owner built a wall out of specification. I expect " highly expedient" would be the councils attitude. Always follow the money when rules are broken by large building companies and see where it leads.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

  • Broadland District council....normal for Norfolk? anything for developers and themselves.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

  • When did BDC ever bother to enforce theses rules and regulations? Councils seem quite happy not to comply themselves, unless, of course, it is in their own interest.

    Report this comment

    Alharry

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

  • Whats the problem, once the council get 125 x council tax for them, happy days !!! Empty a bin once a week a few lights, same police fire and ambulance, build 200, get some more cash in !!!!!!!

    Report this comment

    London in Norfolk

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

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

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