New twist in Long Stratton homes row

A controversial scheme to build 60 new homes in Long Stratton has been recommended for approval, angering local residents who are bitterly opposed to the plans.

A controversial scheme to build 60 new homes in Long Stratton has been recommended for approval, angering local residents who are bitterly opposed to the plans.

Villagers have been up in arms since South Norfolk Council's decision to turn down plans by Persimmon Homes (Anglia) to build homes in Lime Tree Avenue was ruled illegal for a second time by its monitoring officer.

The scheme was refused permission initially by the council's southwest area planning committee in February but the council's monitoring officer told councillors that the grounds for refusal were illegal and it was referred to the committee to consider again.

The scheme was reconsidered in April when it was refused again and the monitoring officer referred it back to the council's main planning committee because the more recent decision was illegal on highways and drainage grounds.

The plans, which will be considered at a planning committee meeting tomorrow, have now been earmarked for approval, angering residents who cite potential problems with surface water and sewers among their key concerns.

Philip Waltham, a former cabinet member at South Norfolk Council, said he was concerned that a decision appeared to have already been made. “I am very concerned that despite all that has been said a decision seems to have been made before the matter goes to the planning committee,” he said.

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Lime Tree Avenue resident Paul Ruddock said the village's sewage system was unable to cope and that following heavy rain yesterday sewage was once again overflowing into the High Street.

He said problems with the sewage system, coupled with highways concerns would form a major part of the residents' case against the scheme.

“The fact this scheme

has been recommended

for approval is not really

a shock,” he said. “However, we think we have got a

strong case again and are preparing to fight this out. The officers just seem to be intent on pushing this through.”

The plans have been recommended for approval and the associated report states: “The proposal as amended is now considered acceptable in terms of

layout, design, density

and highway impact, and would not significantly

harm the character and appearance of the area or the amenities of neighbouring properties.”

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