Plan for homes approved as councillors overrule officers

PUBLISHED: 05:30 21 August 2020 | UPDATED: 07:44 22 August 2020

The site on North Walsham Road, Banningham, where two new homes will be built. Picture: Google Maps

The site on North Walsham Road, Banningham, where two new homes will be built. Picture: Google Maps


Councillors on a planning committee have gone against the authority’s officers by giving the green light to two new homes said to be in an “unsustainable” location.

Members of North Norfolk District Council’s planning committee voted 8-5 in favour of allowing applicants Mr and Mrs Jones to build two semi-detached homes on the site of a former building at Heppinn Barn on North Walsham Road in Banningham.

At a meeting conducted via Zoom planning officer Colin Reuben said there was currently a derelict and part-rebuilt agricultural building there, which in 2016 was given permission to convert to two homes.

But after this permission was given, “unauthorised” work was carried out at the site, so it had to be considered a new-build application, which, in that area, was against the council’s countryside policy and should be refused.

He said the location would also leave new residents reliant on private vehicle use.

John Toye, the ward councillor, who is not on the committee, spoke in favour of the plan, saying: “This is about enabling a family to build something that was already approved, but under a different set of rules, and they’ve had some misfortune along the way.

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“It is sustainable, it will improve the local environment and it will employ people.”

MORE: Homes plan for farm should be refused, council officers say

Ann Bartaby, the agent for the builders, said: “The principle of creating two houses here has been approved previously.

“Public interest is a material consideration and it is in the interest of current residents that the current eyesore is replaced with an attractive building.

“This is a self-build, which is now strongly supported by government.”

One of those who voted for the officers’ recommendation of refusal was councillor Richard Kershaw, who said: “If the building hadn’t been taken down and construction started we wouldn’t be in this position. This is now a new build, I’m sorry to say.”

In order for the committee to approve the plans they had to have two votes - one to reject the officers’ recommendation and another in favour of the plans on the grounds they were, in fact, sustainable.

One of the new homes will have three bedrooms and the other will have four.

Bodies including Norfolk County Council, Colby Parish Council and the Ramblers’ Association had no objections to the plans.

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