Controversial housing plans dropped by Crisp Malt after village outcry

Tour of Crisp Maltings, Great Ryburgh. Picture: Ian Burt

Tour of Crisp Maltings, Great Ryburgh. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Controversial plans to build new housing in a rural village have been dropped, in a move which has left villagers “delighted”.

Crisp Malt, in Great Ryburgh, submitted plans for a major site expansion, 50 new homes and a new access road earlier this year.

But the company, which grows and manufactures speciality malt, has dropped its housing plans, following significant opposition from village neighbours.

It comes as the prime minister and housing secretary unveiled sweeping reforms of the planning system which would render public objections obsolete.

READ MORE: Government’s housing reforms blasted for giving public less say over development

The move also follows news of fresh plans for a 950-home site, a school, nursery, shops, hotel and pub in nearby Fakenham.

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Crisp Malt is set to proceed with its other two plans - which would see its north Norfolk headquarters expanded and a new road to take HGV traffic away from the village.

David Thompson, Crisp Malt chief executive, said despite the proposed number being reduced from 75 to 50, “many of our neighbours were still expressing reservations” about the housing.

READ MORE: Major expansion at Crisp Maltings could see new silos and 50 homes built

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He said: “We have listened to their concerns and decided not to proceed with plans for housing.”

But he added: “The expansion will help us supply customers with a greater quantity and wider variety of speciality malts.

“These investments will support the country’s push to increase overall exports: crucial to our economic recovery.

“Now more than ever, Britain needs manufacturing businesses with a long-term future and which are profitable.”

The decision has been welcomed by those living in Great Ryburgh.

Tim Colman, who lives on Fakenham Road, said: “It’s wonderful news - I am delighted.

“A lot of people will be terribly pleased. I think [the housing] was the biggest concern for most of the village.”

READ MORE: ‘May we have our village back?’: fears over expansion of maltings

And Elizabeth Savory, chairman of the parish council, added: “I think the village will be relieved.

“We all felt it was much too big for us to continue with the same community feel as we have now.

“We understand progress but it was too much for the village.”

But Tim Purdy, from the Great Ryburgh Neighbourhood Plan group, said: “I wonder if they’re waiting for the new planning reforms to go through. They might get an easier route then.”

But Mr Purdy said he supported Crisp as a “major international business” but said: “We must look after the village in the process.” READ MORE: Fresh plans for 950 homes, a hotel and school submitted to council

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