Bid for 43 homes turned down over children's safety fears

43 homes in Terrington St Clement

The 43 homes had been planned to go up on land to the west of Benn's Lane in Terrington St Clement. - Credit: Google

A plan for 43 homes in a west Norfolk village has been knocked back by councillors concerned about the safety of children.

The proposal to build the properties in Terrington St Clement, just west of King’s Lynn, was turned down after fears were raised about a play area being placed next to a drainage pond.

The scheme had already been given permission in principle, but the finer details were discussed at a meeting of West Norfolk borough council’s planning committee. 

The plan included 11 pairs of semi-detached houses and 21 detached houses, with 11 two-bed, 20 three-bed and 12 four-bed properties, with nine of the total planned to be affordable.

The 43 homes would also have had footpath links to a proposed 76-home development to the north-west, for which permission in principle has not yet been given. 

The developer’s agent told the meeting that the “the scale, form, and appearance of the dwellings will assimilate well into the existing village scape, reflecting the character of nearby housing and enhancing this edge of village brownfield site”.

Local independent councillor Sandra Squire raised several concerns ranging from road safety, uncertainty over materials used for the homes and biodiversity.

Independent Norfolk county councillor Sandra Squire. Pic: Norfolk Independent Group.

Independent councillor Sandra Squire. - Credit: Norfolk Independent Group

She said she was also concerned about the planned location of a children’s play area next to a drainage pond.

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“You can fence it all you like, but toddlers are fast, and unless it’s a totally, completely fenced-in area, which will look ugly, they will get through it,” said Ms Squire.

Independent opposition leader Terry Parish said there had been 340 public objections to the application for permission in principle and that there were 52 objections for the detailed application. 

A pubilc meeting was held Old Friends Hall in Heacham discussing the housing development on School R

Independent opposition leader Terry Parish. - Credit: Matthew Usher

“What is says to me is that this development has come forward against a lot of public opposition, so the very least that can be done… is that the developer should do the best possible job, and officers and us should ensure that they do that,” said Mr Parish.

“Now, I can’t quite see that they are doing that.”

Independent councillor Jo Rust proposed rejecting the application against the advice of officers, on the grounds that the placement of the play area next to the pond was dangerous.  

An officer warned that this seemed a weak reason to reject the application, given the balance of advantages and disadvantages to the development.

He said the rejection could therefore be lost if the developer appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

Councillors nonetheless voted by nine votes to two against the development, with five abstentions. 

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