Controversial plans for the redevelopment of a village industrial estate have been blocked by "gobsmacked" councillors. 

The plans, which would have seen manufacturing business Eastern Attachments move into Coughtrey Industrial Estate in Griston, near Watton, have been refused by Breckland Council. 

Councillors voted to block the application due to a lack of evidence about the impact of noise, air quality and smell on neighbouring properties.

This is despite representatives for Eastern Attachments requesting more time to produce a report on the environmental impact of its proposals, which had been mandated by the Secretary of State in November. 

Philip Leslie, managing director of the company, said: "We are still in the process of producing this information.

"We refute that we are a heavy industry business and are confident that we can mitigate any concerns with these reports."

Eastern Daily Press: Coughtrey Industrial Estate in Church Road, GristonCoughtrey Industrial Estate in Church Road, Griston (Image: Google)READ MORE: Plan to turn arson-hit school into housing FINALLY gets green light

The decision had already been deferred following a legal challenge from Griston Community Group, which said the development would have a significant impact on the "health and wellbeing" of local people. 

Councillor Roger Atterwill said: "I want to see this put to bed today. We need to do something to stand up for those residents who live around this site."

Councillor Philip Cowen added that he was "gobsmacked" when the application had been submitted in 2022. 

"We want to see an operation like this in Breckland," he said. "But this is a rural, residential location and nothing of this kind should be here."

John Heath, leader of the Griston Community Group, believes he may encounter further difficulties as a decision remains to be made on two further applications made by Eastern Attachments for permission to change the use of the site. 

He added: "We're very, very happy with today's decision. It's absolutely right for the community.

"But until those applications go away, it's not over. We urge councillors to take a precautionary approach."