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Lanpro will have to get the support of Breckland District Council in order to get the go ahead for controversial garden town

PUBLISHED: 19:23 15 October 2018

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

The developer behind a bid to build a controversial new 10,000 home garden town in Norfolk will not be not be able to dodge local planning rules and must have Breckland District Council's support in order to get its development approved, a government minister has confirmed.

Earlier this year it was revealed that Lanpro, the Norwich based planners behind the controversial proposal for a new town the size of Thetford in mid Norfolk had lobbied central government to remove the requirement for approval from the local planning authority.

The move had come after Breckland District Council refused to back the scheme.

Now, following a letter from George Freeman MP for mid Norfolk, housing minister Kit Malthouse has confirmed Lanpro’s development and any garden town proposal must be supported by the local authority.

In a letter addressed to Mr Freeman, the housing minister wrote: “I would like to reassure you of my firm commitment to the approach set out in the prospectus; that proposals submitted by private sector partners must be expressly supported by the local authority.

“Local communities - both current and future residents - must have a meaningful say in developing the proposal from design to delivery.

“It will be for the local authority to decide - along with any private sector partners such as Lanpro - how they best engage with resident and local stakeholders in developing the proposal.”

Mr Malthouse finished the letter to Mr Freeman by confirming: “I would like to emphasise that proposed garden communities will need to comply with normal planning processes.”

In response to the minister’s assurances Mr Freeman said: “I am delighted that the Housing Minister has reaffirmed his firm commitment to the approach set out in the Garden Communities Prospectus and confirmed, specifically, that proposals submitted by private sector partners MUST be expressly supported by the local authority.

“Lanpro’s attempt to circumvent local government and community views would have been catastrophic for public trust in the planning system had it been successful, and the Minister’s reassurances show that big developers cannot push communities around – and must instead take them seriously, and work with them.”

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