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Conservatives urge their new MP to re-think plans to develop woods

Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew co-owns Thorpe Woods, through a trust, where 300 new homes are planned. Picture: Simon Finlay/Danielle Booden

Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew co-owns Thorpe Woods, through a trust, where 300 new homes are planned. Picture: Simon Finlay/Danielle Booden

Archant

An MP’s Conservative colleagues have urged him to him to think again over a housing development in woodland he co-owns.

Conservatives in Thorpe St Andrew have opposed plans to turn woodlands co-owned by a Conservative MP into housing. Photo: ArchantConservatives in Thorpe St Andrew have opposed plans to turn woodlands co-owned by a Conservative MP into housing. Photo: Archant

Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew is a trustee of the Thorpe and Felthorpe Trust, which owns Thorpe Woods, where 300 new homes are planned.

Around 10-hectares of the woods, off Plumstead Road East in Thorpe St Andrew, will be destroyed for the homes while the rest of the site will become a country park.

The development was rejected by Broadland Council in 2017, but that decision was overturned by a planning inspector last year, who found the scheme would not have an impact on wildlife.

But Mr Mayhew's Conservative colleagues, including his neighbouring MP Chloe Smith, are opposing the development.

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Thorpe St Andrew councillors John Fisher and Ian Mackie both urged the owners to save the woods.

Mr Mackie said: "The collective view is to request that the owners think again given the national and local context. There is now much greater awareness and activity around preserving woodland."

Mr Fisher said he had spoken to Mr Mayhew about the scheme but felt the owners would press ahead with it.

"They have spent a fortune trying to get planning permission and I would imagine they would be looking to get a return on their investment."

Last week Mr Mayhew said he was "very proud" to be involved in the project and pointed out the planning inspector found the scheme would "protect and enhance" biodiversity in the woods by creating a country park.

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