A log-cutting business has been allowed to continue operating despite fears over noise pollution and traffic.

Arenal in New Buckenham Road was at risk of being shut down after Breckland Council officers recommended refusing its retrospective application to change the use of the land. 

But councillors decided it would be unfair to force the business to stop which had been running for more than 30 years.

Eastern Daily Press: An aerial view of the log cutting business site in Old BuckenhamAn aerial view of the log cutting business site in Old Buckenham (Image: Google)

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Phillip Potter took over the trade from his grandfather, supplying the local community with firewood as a way to supplement the income of their other agricultural activities.

But while it has been running for three decades, he was required to apply to change the use of the land with the council to a log distribution business.

This led to objections being made by Old Buckenham Parish Council and country park owner Ben Devlin, who worried about the impact of noise in the area - an issue that led to officers to recommend it was refused.

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Mr Potter defended his business, arguing it was done on a small scale and only on a seasonal basis in the winter and early spring.

He also has invested in battery-powered chainsaws to limit the noise.

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A number of councillors spoke out in support of Mr Potter, arguing it would be wrong to damage the success of a long-running rural business and that it was unlikely to cause significant disruption in its current form.

The crux of the matter came down to legalities surrounding the risk that by approving the change of use of the site, it could mean that there would be no ability to stop future landowners from running a more intensive log-cutting business year-round.

Despite these fears, councillors decided to side with Mr Potter and voted unanimously to approve the application.