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Protesters prepare for fresh fight

PUBLISHED: 15:54 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:47 03 July 2010

Liz Coates

Opponents of a housing and road scheme for Winterton are rallying the troops for another round of planning debate.

Parish councillors are stepping up their efforts and drawing up a new battle plan to block the nine-home scheme being put forward by Lowestoft-based Badger Building after a crucial meeting to determine the proposal collapsed in confusion with planners taking the unusual step of agreeing to discuss it again.

Opponents of a housing and road scheme for Winterton are rallying the troops for another round of planning debate.

Parish councillors are stepping up their efforts and drawing up a new battle plan to block the nine-home scheme being put forward by Lowestoft-based Badger Building after a crucial meeting to determine the proposal collapsed in confusion with planners taking the unusual step of agreeing to discuss it again.

Winterton parish council chairman David Neve said members at a special meeting on Monday night voted unanimously to take the offer of a re-consideration .

Although opponents had spent months preparing their case against the scheme they would now look at new ways of presenting their argument which focuses on the impact of upgrading Empson's Loke leading to the homes into an urban road.

Those against the scheme say it will alter forever the scenic approach to the village and worry about the consequences of building on a flood plain, but the Environment Agency has not objected and the land is allocated for housing.

Mr Neve said he was still unhappy with the outcome of the last development control committee when members voted first to refuse the scheme but after more debate accepted it, in line with officer recommendation, leading to confusion over what the final vote was and whether it was legal.

“It was a bitter disappointment to win and then to have it snatched away. We are now waiting for a date so we know when we are going to go again,” he said.

Last week borough solicitor Chris Skinner was adamant that although the situation was confused it was not unlawful.

Committee chairman Charles Reynolds said the best thing to do was have a fresh look at it. But Mr Neve took his concerns about the way the voting process was handled and the implications for local democracy to borough council Richard Packham amid concerns that grass roots input was being eroded by fears about costly developer appeals.

The parish council unanimously rejected the scheme mainly because of the impact of the access road on the character of the charming fishing village noted for its wildlife-rich dunes, chocolate box cottages and popular pub.

Seven letters of objection were also sent in, adding to the weight of concern.

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