Date set for public inquiry into Sculthorpe Green

PUBLISHED: 11:33 16 January 2017 | UPDATED: 15:42 16 January 2017

Villagers turned out in force to protest about proposed new housing in Sculthorpe. Picture: Ian Burt

Villagers turned out in force to protest about proposed new housing in Sculthorpe. Picture: Ian Burt

A government inspector will have ther final say over controversial plans to build 200 homes in the middle of the village after a six-day public hearing in April.

Sculthorpe village. Picture: Ian BurtSculthorpe village. Picture: Ian Burt

Villagers claimed Amstel Group Corporation’s proposals would change the face of their rural community. North Norfolk council agreed and turned them down early last year.

Amstel’s agents Indigo appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, claiming the council could not show it had identified sufficient sites to meet five years’ demand for new housing.

Now a date of Tuesday, April 25 has been set for the start of the inquiry. The Planning Inspectorate said it was scheduled to last six days .

The hearing will be held in the Council Chamber at North Norfolk District Council’s offices at Holt Road, Cromer.

Members of the public will be invited to attend the inquiry and can, if the inspector allows, express their views.

Sue Arnold, North Norfolk council’s cabinet member for planning said: “It’s vital that the local issues and concerns are fully taken into account when deciding planning applications and it’s my sincere hope that the public inquiry respects the views of the communities and upholds the decisions of the local planning authority, who are well placed to be able to understand what is best for their area and reflect local feelings.”

In its 27-page statement of case, Indigo claims the council’s planning policies are “out of date” and it can provide evidence of the “pressing need for housing” in the Fakenham area.

Since Amstel lodged its appeal, agents acting for Trinity College Cambridge have carried out a final public consultation into plans to build 900 new homes, a hotel, shops and school on land three miles away on the outskirts of Fakenham.

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