Decisions on scores of new homes delayed after planning meeting derailed
PUBLISHED: 15:18 28 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:18 28 October 2019
Decisions on more than 100 new homes have been delayed after feedback on a blueprint for the area’s growth derailed a council’s planning committee meeting.
Breckland councillors were set to consider a spate of controversial applications for developments in the district, including proposals for 80 properties near Blackthorn Road, in Attleborough, and 18 homes in Great Hockham, which both sparked fears over "urban sprawl" and impact on wildlife.
But councillors heard it would be "unlawful" for the meeting, on Monday, October 28, to go ahead as planned as the council had received a report on its vision for the district's housing growth.
Planning committee chairman, Conservative councillor Nigel Wilkin, said feedback from the planning inspector on the area's draft local plan, which outlines Breckland's growth until 2036, arrived on Friday, October 25.
And Simon Wood, director of planning and building control, said: "Late on Friday afternoon, we received the inspector's full report on the emerging local plan.
"The plan becomes a significant material consideration in the determination of applications."
He added: "We've not had the chance to assess all the applications on this agenda against the comments within the inspectors report [and] it's considered that it's inappropriate to hear the majority of the applications on the agenda today.
"It would be unwise to do so."
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And the council's in-house solicitor, Michael Horn, told the committee it would be "unlawful" for the agenda to be dealt with as agreed, as officers could not offer councillors accurate advice on the planning inspector's report.
Mr Wood said decisions would be taken on plans to build a single storey property in Great Ellingham, and the removal of a planning condition for a former agricultural home in Hockering.
"All the other applications will be considered in the next planning committee," he added.
"I do apologise for any inconvenience this has caused."
And planning vice-chairman, Conservative councillor Peter Wilkinson, said the council needed to avoiding approving applications, which might have been refused under the terms of the local plan.
"We have to think of residents' personal situations," he said.
Decisions will be made on these applications at a later date.