“Carrot-crunching” rural councillors say town folk do not understand village life

“CARROT-crunching” rural councillors accused their town counterparts of not understanding how village life works when plans for Filby were raised at a borough council meeting.

Filby’s parochial church council had applied for permission to turn the run-down church hall, in Church Lane, into a residential property and, in a separate application, to create car parking alongside a bridle way by the church.

The additional parking would replace the 20 spaces lost if the church hall were sold off to a private owner.

Great Yarmouth ward councillors did not see the problem with the applications, but councillors from the Fleggs opposed both and criticised councillors from towns who said they were reasonable.

George Jermany, councillor for East Flegg ward, opposed the parking plan and said: “You accuse us carrot crunchers of not knowing what goes on in the towns, but you don’t know what goes on in the villages. I know what happens in that village and I know that track - it’s just not suitable for mixed traffic.”

He said sugar beet and raspberry lorries use it and there could be accidents if car parking was introduced. In a jibe at town councillors, he added: “The lorries certainly don’t come along King Street.” He added that the grade one agricultural land should be protected and not turned into parking. But Trevor Wainwright, councillor for Magdalen ward, said: “I actually come from a farming background. Most of the Fleggs is grade one agricultural land so I feel we shouldn’t conflate issues there.”

Rural councillors and locals had also opposed plans to turn the church hall into a residential property. Peter Chapman, vice chairman of the parochial church council, said the hall was run-down and no longer needed as a new community centre is being built. But David Thompson, councillor for Fleggburgh ward, said there is nothing wrong with the hall, and the 82-year-old recalled going there as a child. He said he disagreed with the church’s plans and added: “I was a member of the parochial church council at one time but they booted me out when they found out I wasn’t confirmed.”

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Clifford Rapley, owner of the adjoining Filby Hall, also objected to the plans. The church hall application was rejected, but the parking application was approved at the development control committee on Tuesday.