Plans for 15 new homes in village refused by councillors

Adrian Thompson, inset, Great Yarmouth borough councillor, is heading opposition to a bid to build 1

Adrian Thompson, inset, Great Yarmouth borough councillor, is heading opposition to a bid to build 15 houses off Pound Lane in Filby. Picture: Joseph Norton/Google Maps. - Credit: Archant

Plans to build 15 new homes in a Norfolk village have been rejected by a council.

An application to build the properties, including three affordable houses, on Pound Lane, in Filby, was submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council (GYBC).

And the scheme was discussed at a meeting of the planning committee held on Wednesday, October 28, where councillors raised concerns over agricultural land being used for housing.

Labour councillor Tony Wright asked: “At what point do we say no more Grade I agricultural land? It just seems it fits when we want it to and when we don’t we can just discard it.”

READ MORE: Opposition builds to ‘concrete jungle’ housing plan on Broads

Conservative councillor Geoff Freeman added: “We seem to lack consistency in what we do - I have to agree with Tony if we’re going to build on agricultural land, we can’t just wave it in and out.”

But planning officer Rob Tate said: “As you’ll be aware, we don’t have a five year land supply.

“We have to weigh against the public benefits of the scheme and we’ve come to the conclusion as officers that we can support it.”

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And Phil Hardy, from Parker Planning Services, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said three of the 15 were affordable houses.

“In the absence of a five-year land supply, the application should only be refused if perceived harm demonstrably outweighs the benefits,” he said. “It is not considered that the loss of land outweighs the benefits.”

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Resident Howard Millman said: “There have been 76 objections from neighbours. Grievances are being aired. Flooding, poor street lighting, lack of public transport and essential services and all this without mentioning highways.

“The road is narrow - there is no room for a footpath.”

He called the site a “rat run” and dangerous for the elderly.

While Mr Wright added: “I’m unhappy about the progress of it. There are more questions about the development of this land.”

Conservative member Leslie Mogford added: “I am so surprised there isn’t a backup pump built in - if the pump fails when we’ve got high water I can see problems.”

But Labour councillor Trevor Wainwright said: “It seems to me we keep refusing the applications - we need accommodation and houses in the northern parishes.

“I will be supporting the officers recommendation to approve.”

But councillors voted to refuse the plans due to concerns including fears over the junction and water safety.

READ MORE: Have your say on affordable homes on the coast

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