Villagers raise concerns as Broadland agrees to consult on proposals allowing businesses to build without planning permission

Parish councillors and villagers at Broadland District Council yesterday after they raised their con

Parish councillors and villagers at Broadland District Council yesterday after they raised their concerns over the proposed LDO. - Credit: Archant

Councillors have agreed to consult the public on proposals which will allow companies to build on land without planning permission.

Broadland District Council's cabinet voted in favour of a six-week consultation over plans to introduce a Local Development Order (LDO).

It would enable certain food manufacturing firms to build on land to the west of Easton village without going through the normal planning process.

But the proposals have attracted widespread criticism from parish councillors and villagers who live near to the 19 hectare site.

Raymond Roberts, from Blind Lane, Honingham, was one of several people who voiced their concerns during yesterday's cabinet meeting.

He said: 'From a personal point of view, my home is approximately 70 yards from this site. As you will appreciate, this is a matter of great concern and worry to my family.

'There is no way, that if this goes ahead, we will not see, smell and most worringly, hear it.'

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Mr Roberts also raised concern about the increase in traffic on the single track Church Lane, and the proposed closure of Blind Lane.

The LDO will form part of the Greater Norwich Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) and only applies to companies linked to food production and agriculture.

Stephen Scowen, economic development manager at Broadland, explained why the council was 'pursuing' the order.

He said: 'It featured as one of the components of submitting the bid to DEFRA for the FEZ status. In order to deliver a FEZ, you have to have an LDO associated with that.'

Enterprise zones aims to encourage investment and make it easier for businesses to grow.

Cabinet members voted in favour of a consultation, but stressed it needed to be expanded to take in as many views as possible.

It is scheduled to begin on November 7 and will last six weeks.

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