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Plans to build 52 homes in south Norfolk village could be revived by planning inspector

PUBLISHED: 12:39 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:17 25 April 2019

Plans for a development of 52 homes including 17 affordable houses in Long Stratton. Picture: Orbit Homes

Plans for a development of 52 homes including 17 affordable houses in Long Stratton. Picture: Orbit Homes

Orbit Homes

A Norfolk village community must wait with bated breath over refused plans for more than 50 new homes, which a planning inspector could revive.

Orbit Homes has appealed the decision of South Norfolk Council to refuse a bid to build on fields between St Mary's Road and Lime Tree Avenue in Long Stratton. Picture: GoogleOrbit Homes has appealed the decision of South Norfolk Council to refuse a bid to build on fields between St Mary's Road and Lime Tree Avenue in Long Stratton. Picture: Google

In September, members of South Norfolk Council's planning committee voted to turn down Orbit Housing's bid to build 52 homes on land off St Mary's Road in Long Stratton.

More than 60 letters of objection were sent to the council over the plans, but officers had recommended that the committee give the scheme the all clear.

However, on September 14, the committee voted to ignore the guidance and refuse the application.

Now though, the decision has been taken out of the council's control with the fate of the scheme now resting with a planning inspector.

A planning inquiry over the application will get under way on Tuesday, July 2, and is expected to last four days.

However, ahead of the inquiry, South Norfolk Council has decided to refine the grounds on which it will defend its refusal.

On refusing the application, the committee agreed on four reasons for turning it down - relating in particular to poor connectivity of open space and the impact on open countryside.

However, at a committee meeting on Wednesday, members agreed to refine the original four reasons into one, which encompasses all the concerns as one.

It reads as follows: “The benefits of the scheme in providing new housing, including affordable housing and the over provision of public open space does not override the landscape and character harm that would occur.”

Part of the concern relates to the fact the scheme would result in the loss of a specific tree - a category B oak which is prominent in the area.

The application drew opposition from Long Stratton Parish Council at the time, which argued that road access to the development was insufficient and the full traffic impact of another housing development at Tharston Meadows was yet to be properly assessed.

If the planning inspector agrees to overrule the council's decision it would see a mixture of two-storey detached, semi-detached and terraced homes built on agricultural land on the south-western edge of the village - also providing 17 affordable houses.

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