Homes row at Tacolneston set to continue

A row over plans to build eight new homes in a Norfolk village looks set to continue after councillors threw out the development because alternative sites had not been considered.

Saffron Housing Trust's plans to provide new houses in The Fields, Tacolneston for villagers in urgent need of accommodation were rejected by South Norfolk Council's planning committee on Wednesday, despite warnings from its solicitor Stuart Shortman that the applicant was not obliged to propose sites it was not thinking of developing.

Concerns were also raised the homes would overlook neighbouring properties in The Fields and increase existing problems with flooding as drainage could not cope with the extra demand.

The refusal could trigger an appeal by the developer to the government's Planning Inspectorate.

The council received 127 objection letters from 53 households in the village, most of which cited the lack of consideration for alternative sites as the main objection, while others said the homes would be cut off from vital services.

Karen Darrell, chairman of Tacolneston Parish Council, spoke of the 'significant percentage' of villagers opposed to the application for The Fields site and said the parish council had initially opposed the scheme in November because of the overlooking and the need to service villagers first.

In January the council supported the proposals despite continuing concerns over the homes' design.

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She added: 'This has been the most awful period probably since the civil war for our village.'

Architect Gary Johns told the meeting the new homes would be placed around a curved road so they would not overlook neighbouring properties and would be built at a density of 20 units per hectare to avoid crowding.

Follow Dominic on Twitter @barichel78 or e-mail dominic.bareham2@archant.co.uk.

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