Single storey extension branded 'flagrant abuse of planning system'

Marlingford Road property in Easton, subject of a high court case

The property's extension has been the subject of a high court case - Credit: Google Street View

Plans for a single-storey home extension have been approved - again -  after a Norfolk council admitted making a mistake in the high court.

In June Easton Parish Council took South Norfolk Council (SNC) to court after it approved an extension to the front of a house on Marlingford Road. 

Now the homeowner has accused the parish council of having a "vendetta" against him.

SNC admitted to the judge it had made an error, omitting key details from its decision.

This forced homeowner, Paul Brooker, to bring the plans back to the council. 

At a planning meeting on Wednesday, the parish council again argued against the plans, saying it failed on a series of grounds and accused the homeowner of a “flagrant abuse of the planning system”. 

The Marlingford Road property in 2019 before any extension work was carried out

The Marlingford Road property in 2019 before any extension work was carried out - Credit: Google Street View

Shaun Vincent, who spoke on behalf of the parish council, said Mr Brooks had built an extension larger than the one he had previously been given permission for, describing it as "incongruous" with the street scene. 

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"They were granted an application for a smaller property but he really wanted to build a bigger house so he just did," Mr Vincent told the committee.

Mr Brooks said his house was no larger than the properties around it, with his dormer windows being 700mm over the next door.

Concerns were raised over whether the development counted as a retrospective plan.

But Conservative councillor Lisa Neal said they had to put this out of their minds and judge it as a new application. 

Shaun Vincent, Broadland District Council's portfolio holder for planning.

Shaun Vincent, Broadland District Council's portfolio holder for planning. - Credit: Submitted

The plan was approved, seven for and two against.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Brooks said he felt the parish council has a "vendetta" against him.

"I'm pleased planning has been granted but I'm worried what they will do next, I'm worried they will be looking for something else.

"I hope this is the end of it and we can get it finished and move in."

Mr Vincent said the parish council wanted to ensure the best development for the community and that SNC followed planning rules.

He added that they were waiting for the written decisions before deciding whether to pursue another judicial review as there were issues in the original case that were not explored by the judge.

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