Broadland District Council pushes forward with Aylsham homes plan after high court ‘warning shot’

A decision by community leaders to stand firm over their approval of a major housing development in Aylsham has paved the way for work to begin in earnest.

Broadland District Council's planning committee backed its officers and pushed forward plans for the Youngs Farms development of 250 homes and 10 football pitches on land off Cawston Road.

The application was brought back before members after the authority received a 'warning shot' from rival developers threatening a high court battle to get the permission thrown out.

Welbeck Strategic Land and Norfolk Homes, which both have interests in other sites in the town, sent 'letters before claim' to the authority saying if the approval was progressed they would move to quash the planning permission in court.

But planning officers rejected the grounds for a judicial review, saying they were 'unfounded', and members agreed with their stance at a meeting yesterday by voting unanimously to give the plans a further seal of approval.

They also agreed to the community contributions being asked of Youngs as part of the permission, which include offering more than �1.3m towards education and creating allotment land ready for cultivation.

Stephen Scowen, senior planning officer at Broadland, said councillors' vote now paved the way for the development to get going.

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'Members were satisfied the community benefit that would arise (from the application) was significant enough justification to warrant approving the proposal... and that was robust enough to rebut any legal challenge that might be forthcoming,' he added.

'They feel these community benefits that are being proposed can be adequately secured in a legal agreement to ensure they are delivered, and won't end up with a situation where 250 homes are built and there's no community benefits.'

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