Controversial plans for 170 homes turned down

Delighted Brundall villagers celebrate after plans for 170 homes were rejected. Photo: Dan Grimmer

Delighted Brundall villagers celebrate after plans for 170 homes were rejected. Photo: Dan Grimmer - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans for 170 homes have been turned down, to the delight of relieved villagers who had battled against them.

Developers want to build 170 homes on this site in Brundall.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Developers want to build 170 homes on this site in Brundall.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Developer Quantum Land was denied permission to build on a 42-acre site to the east of Brundall's Memorial Hall and north of Meadow View and Westfield Road.

Broadland District Council's planning committee today voted to reject the plans. Nine councillors voted to reject and one abstained.

The proposals had included a new sports pavilion, a "country park" and other outdoor sports facilities.

The plans had met fierce opposition from Brundall villagers, with a petition against the development collecting more than 2,500 signatures.

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A further 243 objection letters were sent to the council about the original proposals, followed by 255 more for the latest amended plans.

Brundall Parish Council also objected to the proposals.

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And Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor, who represents the village at County Hall, said it was "unjustifiable".

He said villagers were sick of "speculative and predatory" housing applications which were contrary to policy.

Objectors claim the village's schools, roads and surgeries will not be able to cope with hundreds of new residents. They are also concerned about the loss of green space.

They gathered with placards and banners outside Broadland District Council's offices in Thorpe St Andrew ahead of the planning meeting.

Villager Steve Millbank said the development was against the council's development plan and Brundall's Neighbourhood Plan.

He said it would bring no benefits whatsoever.

He said: "This proposed development will bring more people and more traffic to a village which is full."

He said the country park was "a sugar lump to sweeten the bitter taste of poorly planned growth".

Fellow villager Carey Cake told the meeting: "Many in the village are concerned that Brundall's Infrastructure cannot cope with the influx of people that planning applications, already agreed, will bring, let alone the impact of at least 170 additional families."

However, John Philip, who has lived in Brundall since 1980, spoke in support, saying the national housing crisis could not be ignored and that the plans were "a great opportunity".

Planning officers at Broadland had recommended approval.

They said the development would cause harm and did conflict with the development plan.

But they said benefits, including new recreation space and footpaths, outweighed the harms.

Along with the new homes, the development would have included a 17 acre country park in the north of the site.

The latest plans also included improvements to the A47/Cucumber Lane roundabout, consisting of new markings to create two lanes and the widening of approach lanes.

The developer was also proposing to make 33pc of the new homes "affordable".

NHS England had said the two surgeries in the area did not have "resource capacity" for growth resulting from the development.

And the report to councillors stated both Blofield and Brundall primary schools would be full when taking into account existing planning applications.

Steve Riley, Liberal Democrat leader, proposed refusal, which was seconded by Conservative councillor Tony Adams.

Mr Riley said: "We already have a position where we have a five year land supply, so who will benefit here?

"We have heard from local residents who clearly feel there are no benefits from this whatsoever."

Conservative councillor John Fisher said: "We do have good and justifiable reasons to reject it."

Reasons for refusal included it being against the council's own development plan and other policies.

Villagers greeted the refusal with cheers and afterwards, Mr Millbank, whose wife Nicola had helped lead the campaign against the homes said: "I am delighted. It restores your faith in democracy.

"It's taken a lot of hard work over the past three years, but it's a great result for the village."

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