Long Stratton residents await outcome of planning inquiry into rejected application for development of 50 new 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.
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, which officers recommended should be approved.
However, on September 14, the committee voted to ignore the guidance and refuse the application.
Now, the decision has been taken out of the council’s control, with the fate of the scheme resting with a planning inspector.
A planning inquiry over the application will get under way on Tuesday, July 2, and is expected to last for four days.
Ahead of the inquiry, South Norfolk Council has decided to refine the grounds on which it will defend its refusal.
Having originally sited four reasons for turning it down, members agreed on Wednesday to condense them 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 category B oak tree, 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.
More by this authorDavid Hannant, Local Democracy Reporter