Controversial sell-off decision in village to be revisited

Breckland's ruling cabinet has agreed to reconsider a controversial decision to sell a plot of surplus land in Swanton Morley for affordable housing.

The district council is hoping to make �40,000 by selling a parcel of green land at Middleton Avenue in the village near Dereham.

But cabinet members' decision in November to sell the council-owned patch of land sparked outrage among villagers – especially as the parish council had agreed to 70 new homes being built elsewhere in the village to satisfy local need.

Parish council chairman Roger Atterwill said he was furious that local concerns were not listened to.

The decision was reviewed by Breckland's overview and scrutiny commission earlier this month, which supported the decision to offer the land for sale and agreed it was in the best interests of the district.

But, given the strength of public opinion, the commission asked that the issue should be reconsidered by cabinet members before a final decision on the sale was reached.

On Tuesday, Breckland's cabinet agreed to discuss the issue again at a future meeting, as soon as an accurate value of the disputed land was determined.

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Council leader William Nunn said: 'There was a good debate, but I thought that both sides had been placated. I do believe the decision was the right one, but I think it is right to bring this back to cabinet when we have all the relevant information.'