Councillors to debate controversial application to build 83 homes in Costessey’s River Tud valley

Illustrative masterplan for 83 homes north of Farmland Road, Costessey. Picture: Fellden and Mawson

Illustrative masterplan for 83 homes north of Farmland Road, Costessey. Picture: Fellden and Mawson - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans for 83 new homes on farmland in the River Tud valley previously rejected by councillors will be debated in public for a second time.

The outline application for the major development north of Farmland Road in Costessey has been recommended for approval by planning officers, despite attracting 242 letters of objection and opposition from councillors and MPs.

It is due to be discussed by South Norfolk Council's development management committee on Wednesday, July 19.

The proposal will be discussed alongside a plan to develop two circular walks, boardwalks and improvements to biodiversity next to the houses.

That application has also been recommended for approval, despite attracting opposition, and if given the green light it would be established on woodland and swampland also in the River Tud Valley.

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The housing application was refused in May 2016 by South Norfolk Council because it would 'result in an unacceptable visual impact on the landscape of the river valley and Easton Fringe Farmland character areas which amounts to significant and demonstrable harm to the landscape and local character and distinctiveness of the area'.

Adaptations including natural screening have been made to the initial plan by applicant Katrina Kozersky, but people against it have said the changes amounted to 'tinkering' and did not address previous concerns.

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These include:

?Inadequate access off Farmland Road and safety concerns over increased traffic;

?Harm to the River Tud valley's character;

?Potential flood risks;

?Impact on local amenities including health services and schools.

Planning documents reveal the authority's children's services department has raised 'strong concerns' in relation to 'unplanned growth' of the area, which could impact on school capacity.

South Norfolk Council planning documents conclude there is 'significant local objection' to the houses.

It said: 'The key harms identified are landscape and visual impact and school capacity, however this identified harm does not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the clear benefits of providing housing.'

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