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Pub homes plan

PUBLISHED: 18:55 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:20 03 July 2010

THE final chapter in the long-running saga of a housing venture at a former landmark pub is still at least three months away from completion, planners said this week.

THE final chapter in the long-running saga of a housing venture at a former landmark pub is still at least three months away from completion, planners said this week.

A developer appeal to the Secretary of State against a refusal to turn Ormesby St Margaret's Royal Oak into 17 homes is chugging through the system with both sides producing documentation to support their standpoints.

Within the next two months a Government inspector is expected to visit the site, said senior borough planner Dean Minns, with a decision unlikely for another four to five weeks.

Beccles-based Cripps Developments was told it could turn the down-at-heel building into flats and add five houses to its footprint in April 2006.

But a second application for 17 units was refused amid villager fears about altering the character of the village and a raft of other objections including parking, drainage and turning. A subsequent application which chipped one flat off the block was also refused.

Despite talks locally to unlock differences including concerns about the appearance of the terraced homes that would wraparound the site, few changes were made and now Cripps disagrees with the borough's reasons for refusal on the prime site, close to narrow lanes.

Parish council chairman Geoff Freeman said he shared local frustration about the state of the site whose outbuildings have been demolished.

“We just have to wait and see what happens,” he said. “We have said everything we can say and there has not been any other moves towards addressing the issues that concern us.

“A lot of these things are almost a waiting game. It is a pity because the original plans would have given us a nice, sensible, in-keeping development in our view. We have made constructive comments, we have not been nimbyish.

“I look forward to the opportunity to re-convey our feelings to the inspector. I would have loved to have seen it all done and finished, and it can't be any good for the developer either. We just need to have some common sense.”

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