Work started on four new homes without permission

One of the homes on Hargham Road, Old Buckenham

One of the homes on land south of Hargham Road in Old Buckenham, as pictured in July of this year by Google Streetview. Permission has not yet been granted for any construction above slab [ground] level. - Credit: Google

Work has started on a development of four new homes in Norfolk - despite the finer details of the development not yet having been signed off by the council.  

On Monday next week, Breckland District Council's [BDC] planning committee will consider granting final permission for the four homes on Hargham Road in Old Buckenham, near Attleborough. 

In a June email to the developer’s agents, Brown & Co, a council officer wrote: “I was driving passed [sic] the site yesterday on my way to another site and it looked to me that works have already commenced and are above slab level.

“Whilst it is accepted that the site benefits from permission in principle, technically at present, the applicant does not have planning permission to enable them to commence development works on site.”

The work has also seen a historic hedge removed, which the council’s tree officer said was 30 years old and more than 20m long. 

An aerial view of the site in Old Buckenham

An aerial view of the site in Old Buckenham. The four homes will, if permission is granted, slot into the space at the centre of the image, immediately south and west of the existing homes. - Credit: Google

He wrote: “The hedge should only have been removed following approved planning permission or with consent from BDC following the submission of a hedgerow removal notice.

“The submitted survey identified five woody species and one associated feature, this in itself would not qualify the hedgerow as important, but given the removal which has taken place we have no way of checking (which would usually be done by me)."

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He added: “In short, it is my conclusion that an offence under the 1997 hedgerow regulations has been committed.”

Despite the works completed without permission, council officers are recommending that councillors approve the finer details of the plans on Monday, granting the development its final permission. 

If finished, the homes will be detached and two storeys high, with garages.

One of the homes on Hargham Road, Old Buckenham

One of the homes on land south of Hargham Road in Old Buckenham, as pictured in July of this year by Google Streetview. Permission has not yet been granted for any construction above slab [ground] level. - Credit: Google

A Brown & Co spokesperson said: “Brown & Co and Devlin Developments Ltd are working collaboratively with district council planning officers and the parish council to secure detailed permission for the development of four new properties on Hargham Road.

“The project benefits from an existent permission and we are seeking approval for the detailed elements of this.

“Having expected permission to have been granted back in May 2021, all parties have been working together to bring about a successful conclusion for the site’s delivery.

“There have been some challenges with the site however, these are considered resolved and the application has the support of the parish, statutory consultees and the officers.”

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