Controversial holiday lodge plans approved despite flooding fears
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Controversial plans for holiday lodges behind a historic pub have been given the green light, despite almost 60 letters of objection.
Plans for seven two-bedroom holiday lodges behind the Greyhound pub in Tibenham were heard by South Norfolk's planning committee on Wednesday.
Residents, parish and district councillors opposed the plans, with 57 letters of objection submitted.
Gareth Roderick-Jones, the chairman of Tibenham Parish Council, raised concerns on behalf of the village's residents.
“Most of our residents have three main issues: flooding, ecology and road safety," he said.
“Tibenham was one of the communities badly affected by the flooding in December, with roads closed and two houses on the street flooded.
“We have worked with the county council to improve drainage but any additional burden on the system could be disastrous.”
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Mr Roderick-Jones also raised concerns about the mature hedging that would have to be cut back to make way for new site access, which he said were a wildlife habitat and helped hold back floodwater.
Concerns over flooding were dismissed by a speaker for the application, who said the plans included a sustainable drainage system that would release excess water at a safe rate.
Andrew McArdle, who represented objectors, said the Greyhound had been at the heart of the village for 300 years and the lodges would take away from space used for community events.
He also argued that the application was inappropriate due to the lack of food offering at the pub after it lost its food hygiene licence.
He added: “The nearest small store is Bunwell and that is 4.6miles away, the nearest supermarket is either Diss or Long Stratton and that’s more than six miles away.
“Holidaymakers would expect to be able to obtain food from the pub.
"The applicant has had 17 months to upgrade the kitchens and has done nothing.”
The applicant, Martin Adams, told councillors he would be looking to reopen the kitchens if permission was granted.
Mr Adams said the proposals had been misunderstood, and they were needed to ensure the pub could survive.
He said: “Many pubs are currently closing around the UK please don’t let the Greyhound be another one.”
Councillors voted unanimously to approve the lodges.