Planning inspector rules homes should not be built on Hethersett paddock

A planning inspector has rejected an appeal to build homes on Hethersett paddock. Picture: Sonya Dun

A planning inspector has rejected an appeal to build homes on Hethersett paddock. Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A planning inspector has ended a row over building homes on Hethersett paddock - after rejecting an appeal lodged by developers.

The Fleur Developments scheme to build 22 houses on land between Queen Road and Jaguar Road, known as a wildlife haven by villagers, sparked anger when it was first submitted in August last year.

The bid was withdrawn in October, before being resubmitted in November to South Norfolk Council, who rejected it in February.

But the developers lodged an appeal that has now been refused - news that Hethersett South Norfolk Councillor David Bills described as a 'great early Christmas present'.

He said: 'I'm very pleased that they are not going to build on it but I'm also particularly happy that they have recognised the land as an area of importance to Hethersett.

'It does take into account that it is one of the last open spaces remaining in the village and I hope that this is taken into account elsewhere across the country.'

Mr Bills said that it was down to the Hethersett community, who banded together to see the bid thrown out.

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In the appeal decision, the inspector says the development would cause 'significant harm to the character and appearance of the site and the surrounding area'.

It also said it would 'significantly reduce the open character' of the site.

Leslie Dale, South Norfolk Councilllor for the village, said: '[Wednesday] has proved a significant day for Hethersett in more ways than one.

'Its treasured grazing meadow, which has probably never seen a plough in its entire life has been granted further life by the Planning Inspector.

'At [Wednesday's] planning meeting held to rehear the Wymondham Rugby Club application to yield its new 2012 site, located up close to the Hethersett parish boundary, in exchange for 300 houses and yet another new club site in the nearby countryside, was refused.

'Message to developers, don't mess with Hethersett, it values its village identity and ethos.'

Objectors have raised concerns that the thriving wildlife in the area would be destroyed by the homes.

Hethersett is earmarked for at least 1,000 homes before 2026.

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