Silent protest held over plans to build on Norwich river valley area

Nearly 80 people turned up as part of a silent protest against a potential housing development of 70 new homes in Costessey.

Costessey Parish Council had encouraged people to attend a site visit by South Norfolk District Council's planning committee to the River Tud valley area as 'silent witnesses'.

The proposed application is for a residential development of 70 dwellings, including a new access to the south-east, on a 2.5ha area of land north of Townhouse Road, Costessey. The application from the Green and Norwich Consolidated Charities organisation was registered in December 2009 and will go before the planning committee on Wednesday, which is why the committee members visited the site last week.

The parish council is 'vigorously opposing' the application because of several reasons. Its concerns include the impact of the additional traffic to the area, the removal of 120m of hedgerow, the intrusion into the River Tud valley and the long-distance views of Carrs Hills Wood.

There have also been 44 objections received by local people and parish council chairman Vivienne Bell was delighted with the turnout at the site visit. She said: 'I was overwhelmed by how many people turned out.

'We encouraged people to come and it was very good-natured.

'At the moment that site is open fields with horses grazing on it and it would devastate the area. These plans are not wanted and there are other more suitable sites in the area to be developed.'

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The planning committee will meet at 1pm at South Norfolk District Council's offices in Long Stratton on Wednesday.

The latest letter in the consultation process, sent on behalf of the applicant by Bidwells senior planner Graham Bloomfield, states that the agent believes the application is appropriate to be accepted by the committee.

It reads: 'There are no objections from technical consultees and it can clearly be demonstrated that there are no constraints to developments coming forward. The development is therefore in accordance with planning policy.'

Do you have a story about a new development? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email