New Attleborough home plans rejected over ‘stick to beat us with’ warning
PUBLISHED: 13:52 02 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:52 02 September 2020
Plans to build 18 homes near a Norfolk town have been refused after councillors warned it could become “a stick to beat us with”.
Developer Rouf Homes had hoped to build 18 homes on land north of Blackthorn Road, in Attleborough.
And the firm submitted plans to Breckland Council to build the homes, infrastructure and access.
But fears it could prejudice an appeal against the refusal of a nearby development prompted the application’s refusal, despite officers recommending approval.
The scheme requested outline planning permission, meaning the design and layout of the homes would be agreed at a later stage.
And, at a planning committee meeting on Tuesday, September 2, planning officer Rebecca Collins told members the application was outside the town’s settlement boundary and on a greenfield site.
Members heard there was an ongoing appeal for an adjacent site, where an application for 80 new homes had been refused due to fears it would impact the area.
But Ms Collins told the meeting officers “consider the sites aren’t comparable”, with the rejected plans being “significantly larger”.
Philip Taylor, planning agent, added: “This is a modest proposal that can deliver new housing, meet local need and crucially deliver 25pc as affordable housing.
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“We are very much aware of the appeal next door. Our scheme has a much smaller and more modest scale of development. The harms to the intrinsic beauty of the local countryside are not substantial.”
But Independent councillor Roger Atterwill said: “If we did anything other than refuse this application, are we prejudicing the appeal with the inspector?
“If we give permission for this, it might be used as a stick to beat us with, bearing in mind we’ve already refused an application.
“I think if we give permission for this we’re leaving ourselves open - we need to be consistent.”
And Labour councillor Harry Clarke questioned why there was no NHS request for the developer to contribute to health services.
Ms Collins said: “We think each case on its own merits. This is a much smaller site, a much reduced proposal and there’s much more green space. We think there are material differences.”
She said the threshold for NHS consultation is usually 50 homes.
Councillors voted to reject the plans, and said the application went against settlement and environmental protection policies.
Seven councillors voted for the refusal, with four voting against.
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