Victory for Mattishall in battle of Gladman homes
- Credit: Archant
Cheers rang out in a council chamber as a controversial scheme for 50 homes on the edge of a village was unanimously refused.
The application by Gladman Developments for the housing on Dereham Road in Mattishall also forced an intervention by Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman who spoke at the Breckland Council planning meeting in support of a government inspector's previous assessment that the site was 'unsustainable'.
The site has a long and complicated planning history going back to an initial application for 90 homes in 2014 which was refused by Breckland in 2015.
A susbsequent appeal was dismissed by the inspector who said: 'I am unable to reconcile what amount and form of development is likely to be acceptable relative to the serious constraints to development arising from flooding and associated matters.'
Despite this and repeated concerns from the parish council, district councillors, campaign group Mattishall Matters and the Neighbourhood Plan working party, Breckland's planning officers recemmended Gladman's latest scheme for 50 homes for approval.
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Chris Hobson, principal planning officer at Breckland, said Norfolk County Council's flood agency had not raised an objection subject to conditions and the new proposal would not increase run-off rates.
He added: 'It is a sufficient distance from facilities, effects on the countryside are not considered over-riding and would not outweigh the benefits, the contribution to housing, affordable housing, the receipt of a New Homes Bonus, community benefits and gains in biodiversity with additional habitats being created.'
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But Mr Freeman said the application went against the heart of government and Breckland planning policies. He said: 'It goes against the criteria for flooding, visual impact, impact on the health services and transport. It is very problematic.'
District councillor Paul Claussen added: 'This scheme has never been wanted by anyone except Breckland planning officers.'
Members voted unanimously to refuse the scheme on grounds of landscape and visual impact and creating a hard edge to the village.