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Bid to build ‘huge’ five-bed farmhouse with bee sanctuary is rejected

PUBLISHED: 17:19 20 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:50 24 August 2020

The five-bedroomed 'mansion' as described by councillors. Photo: Paul Robinson Partnership

The five-bedroomed 'mansion' as described by councillors. Photo: Paul Robinson Partnership

Archant

A businessman’s bid to build a five-bedroom farmhouse with a vineyard, orchards and a bee sanctuary has been rejected by councillors for being “huge”.

Cherry Lane is formerly the site of Greenfields Nursery. One of the greenhouses was set to be reclaimed by the applicant for 'bee keeping purposes'. Photo: GoogleCherry Lane is formerly the site of Greenfields Nursery. One of the greenhouses was set to be reclaimed by the applicant for 'bee keeping purposes'. Photo: Google

The proposal to build on land formerly occupied by Greenfields Nursery in Browston was discussed by Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s development committee on Wednesday, August 19.

Plans showed five bedrooms with ensuites - and in the grounds, solar panels, a swimming pool, bee-keeping greenhouse, vineyard and orchard.

The applicant specified it would be a “low carbon dwelling” but planning officer Chris Green said there was no evidence to support this.

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The site of the house and grounds as is being proposed by the applicant. Photo: GoogleThe site of the house and grounds as is being proposed by the applicant. Photo: Google

Mr Green said: “This is a large edifice with a garage to go with it. The applicant claims that it would be low-energy but has provided no evidence to back this up.

“Intrinsically, if you have a large house it’s normally not terribly efficient.”

Though the plan was recommended for refusal, Paul Hammond moved to approve it, saying: “I see this as an aspirational dwelling - it’s the type of house you would build if you won the lottery.

“So we’re going to lose a bit of agricultural land, but he’s putting orchards and vineyards in, and a sanctuary for bees.”

The site grounds as proposed by the applicant. Photo: Paul Robinson PartnershipThe site grounds as proposed by the applicant. Photo: Paul Robinson Partnership

Speaking on behalf of the applicant, Phil Hardy from Parker Planning Services said the bee-keeping business would be economically beneficial for the area.

He said: “The area is perfect for breeding bees, and is well-located near to Bradwell, Belton and Gorleston.

“Yes, the house is large - but it’s set back from the road. The view will be screened by existing landscaping and the visual amenity of the site will be improved.”

Resident Andre Minns said the application was “smoke, mirrors and buzzwords”, adding: “This house will be huge - bigger even than Browston Hall - and all for one person.

“I am not against modest dwellings, but this applicant is proposing a field full of solar panels and a pool.”

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Parish councillor Kenneth Botwright labelled the house “a protuberance in open countryside” - while borough councillor Tony Wright expressed doubts about the property’s size.

Trevor Wainwright said although he would like to see affordable homes for youngsters rather than “mansions”, there were not many places to build houses of this size - and he would therefore be minded to approve.

The plan was voted down 8-3, with Mr Wainwright abstaining.


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