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Residents question parish council over controversial planning application

PUBLISHED: 08:18 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:46 22 February 2018

Plans for new homes to be built in Terrington have raised anger amongst residents who feel they have been ignored. Picture: Matthew Usher

Plans for new homes to be built in Terrington have raised anger amongst residents who feel they have been ignored. Picture: Matthew Usher

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2016

Questions have been asked of a council which residents claim went against their wishes in approving a controversial planning application.

West Norfolk council’s planning committee approved plans for 44 houses to be built in Benns Lane in Terrington St Clement, despite more than 300 people objecting to it.

MORE: Terrington residents anger at planning decision

In a collective statement, Terrington residents said they felt the town’s parish council is not representing their views, stating: “It is time for the truth to be told, for honesty and to start to rebuild the relationship which has been so badly damaged by not listening to those that live here.”

One of the 17 questions asked was: “Why did Sheila Young go against the wishes of the residents with regard to the Benns Lane development?”

In a parish council meeting tonight, councillor and planning committee member Sheila Young handed Benns Lane resident Eric Baker her written response to the questions.

In her response, she wrote: “I did not go against the wishes of the majority of the residents. I spoke in the interest of the village as a whole, including the large percentage of non-objectors.”

Questions were also asked on whether the whole parish council had known about the tribunal hearing of a former council cleaner, Lindsey Miles, before it took place.

The parish council was taken to an employment tribunal by Miss Miles in November last year for unfair dismissal, after she raised concerns that fire alarm system was not working in the council-run Pavilion in Churchgate Way.

MORE: Cleaner wins payout after being sacked by parish council for whistleblowing about fire safety

Sheila Young and councillor Barbara Hill gave evidence at the tribunal for the council.

During the tribunal, the judge described Mrs Young’s evidence as “shifting sand”, and consequently Benns Lane residents asked whether she should step down in the interest of the community.

Mrs Young responded: “Employment matters are not for open discussion. There is no question of resignation.

“The parish council knew about the forthcoming tribunal. Any further evidence is data protected.”

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