Dickleburgh housing approval sparks talk of an appeal in village

Parish cllr Keith Ambrose on the site the village wants housing to be built on despite the council p

Parish cllr Keith Ambrose on the site the village wants housing to be built on despite the council pushing through plans for another site.Photo: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan- Archant

A parish council is considering taking legal action after houses were approved for a site it considers less favourable than another.

Earlier this month, a scheme for 15 affordable homes at Mount Pleasant on Norwich Road, Dickleburgh, was approved by South Norfolk Council's planning committee.

Dickleburgh and Rushall Parish Council, however, has submitted an application for 10 new houses on a site off Rectory Road in Dickleburgh, which it believes would be better suited. Parish council chairman Keith Ambrose said that he was currently considering appealing against the Mount Pleasant decision in conjunction with some villagers. 'It really is wrong and we're considering taking it to a judicial review,' he said. 'We have six weeks to put in for it but the trouble is it's not our money. There were 27 people who felt so strongly they sent letters of objection against Mount Pleasant and those people have hired a solicitor and they're talking about seeing if there could be a collaborative fund. We would probably match-fund it if we could, or at least talk about it.'

South Norfolk Council, which owns the land on Rectory Road, had agreed to release it free of charge to Saffron Housing Trust to be developed, and the authority stressed this was still the case. 'Our position regarding the Rectory Road site remains, as it always has, that SNC [South Norfolk Council] has agreed to make its land available to Saffron, if it can develop an affordable housing scheme,' a spokesman said. 'SNC has never discussed with DPC [Dickleburgh Parish Council] the opportunity of it acquiring the site and did not invite DPC to make a planning application. Once a planning application is received we are required, by law, to consider it on its own merits.'

Saffron Housing Trust chief executive Adam Ronaldson confirmed it had been in discussions with the parish council about affordable homes in the village.

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'If a site has received planning permission, Saffron – and other housing associations – will, I am sure, look into the possibility of providing more affordable homes in rural areas, as Saffron has done in many villages in South Norfolk,' he said.

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