South Norfolk MP accuses developer of Dickleburgh planning breach

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon
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South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon has slammed a developer for “blatantly disregarding” planning conditions.

Hopkins Homes was granted planning permission to build 22 homes on land north of Harvey Lane, Dickleburgh, in May – subject to conditions.

�9�9South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon has written a letter to South Norfolk Council, complaining about a development in Harvey Lane, Dickleburgh.'''PICTURE: Mecha Morton

�9�9South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon has written a letter to South Norfolk Council, complaining about a development in Harvey Lane, Dickleburgh.'''PICTURE: Mecha Morton

But Mr Bacon said construction had already started, breaching one of the planning conditions, which states work should not commence on site until a construction management plan is submitted and approved in writing by the local planning authority.

In a letter to Tim Horspole, head of growth and localism at South Norfolk Council, he said the council should delay discharging the remaining conditions of the development, until the routing of construction traffic had been “considered properly”.

He added the provision of a proper footway along the southern side of Harvey Lane should also be agreed.

“I do not know what to tell my constituents when they ask me how a scheme with such wholly inadequate highways proposals in place could have received planning consent, or how an applicant can get away with such blatant disregard for planning conditions,” wrote Mr Bacon.

I am very concerned, however, that the safety of Dickleburgh residents is again being put at risk because not nearly enough effort has been put into keeping pedestrians on Harvey Lane safe

Richard Bacom, MP for South Norfolk

“Let me reiterate that I have no objection in principle to the provision of housing at this location and consider that Dickleburgh can support further reasonable housing growth.

“I am very concerned, however, that the safety of Dickleburgh residents is again being put at risk because not nearly enough effort has been put into keeping pedestrians on Harvey Lane safe, particularly when those pedestrians are highly likely to be children; indeed, I have already received reports of Harvey Lane being blocked by construction vehicles unloading.”

Hopkins Homes has lodged a discharge of conditions application.

Christopher Smith, development planner for Hopkins and Moore, said: “All the necessary technical details were formally lodged with South Norfolk District Council prior to work starting on the site and, following subsequent discussions with the council’s officer, a one-way access route for delivery vehicles was agreed.

“The plans for the development, which will create 22 high-quality new homes, including seven affordable homes, were approved in March.

“Our plans will also make significant improvements to Harvey Lane, including widening the road, creating new footpaths over the majority of the length of the road and, where we are constrained, defining pedestrian margins and installing road signage to improve pedestrian safety.

“These measures provide significant safety improvements to existing residents of Harvey Lane, which currently has limited facilities for pedestrians.”

A statement from South Norfolk Council added: “The highway improvements, which form part of the approved planning permission, include a new footway along Harvey Lane, opposite the school frontage, a new footway along the front of the village hall, widening of some sections of Harvey Lane where practical, a white-line to denote a pedestrian way on the north side of Harvey Lane (where no formal margin existed), and other improvements to the highway, including the relocation of the 20mph speed limit to the east of Harvey Lane.

“The developer has formally submitted a discharge of condition application, which includes a construction traffic route. This has also been sent to Norfolk County Council, which has assessed its suitability.

“The route, which has been agreed in principle by the county council, is to access the site via Harvey Lane and then exit the site via Hall Lane and Common Road back to Ipswich Road, using a one-way system.

“We appreciate that, in the interests of safety, everything must be done during the construction period to ensure that the most suitable construction traffic route is provided.

“This has now been done and the principle of the route has been agreed with the county council.”

And a Norfolk County Council spokesman added: We are fully aware of the concerns of local residents and the need to ensure the most suitable construction traffic route is provided for the construction period of the development.

“The Highway Authority will work with the Planning Authority, local residents and the developer to deliver the consented development in a way that minimises the impacts on the local community, especially on more vulnerable highway users.”