Residents concerned after Bressingham silos judicial review fails

Bressingham, Norfolk. Bressingham residents are concerned after a judicial review was refused and the expansive development of a grain facility is due to take place near their homes. 

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE
Bressingham, Norfolk. Bressingham residents are concerned after a judicial review was refused and the expansive development of a grain facility is due to take place near their homes. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Bressingham residents have voiced concerns about the expansion of a agriculture facility after a judicial review failed and planning permission was approved.

Openfield Agriculture was given the go-ahead by South Norfolk Council for £10 million of building works – including approximately 27 silos – at Harvest House, provided the firm sticks to 25 different conditions.

Bressingham businessman Mervyn Lambert filed a judicial review of the application last year. It was refused by a judge in London on August 2.

Mr Lambert said: “I challenged the applications on visual and sound grounds.

“I have done my best and now people will see what a massive eyesore this monstrosity will be.

“The development will blight Diss and the surrounding community and the roads will be crammed. ”

Openfield’s head of stores development, Rob Sanderson said that the company had gone through process with South Norfolk Council and will adhere with the conditions set out by the council.

Mr Sanderson added: “The documentation we submitted has been pawed over for a year now.

“I understand the concerns of residents, but I believe that vast majority of these will be of less concern when the development has been built and modern machinery is used.

“We are a responsible business and we take our responsibilities professionally.”

Mr Sanderson also believes that other Openfield facilities cause little issue and the Bressingham development shouldn’t be any different.

Chair of Bressingham and Fersfield parish council, Richard Hewitt, said: “The parish council has consistently opposed the Open Field’s development.

“However, as planning permission has been granted, we must work to see whatever happens does not impact the community negatively.”

A spokesperson for Richard Bacon MP said that Mr Bacon had represented the views of his constituents, but due to the planing application being approved, there was nothing more he could do.

Mervyn Porter lives 100m away from the Openfield site. He said: “We have lived here for 12 years and we have been very happy.

“The worst thing will be the noise of the machinery. They plan to have 24 hour machinery with 14 vehicles running through per hour.”

A spokesperson for South Norfolk Council said: “We are pleased to see that two judges have now confirmed that South Norfolk Council followed the correct process in determining this application.

“We will now work with the applicant to ensure that all pre-commencement conditions are fulfilled to enable what is a sizable investment in the district to be successful.”