Rollesby allotment decision sparks fury

FURIOUS villagers shouted at Great Yarmouth borough councillors before storming out of a heated planning meeting this week.

The four Rollesby residents hurled: “We live there, you don’t!” and accused the development control committee of not listening to them after plans to build two semi-detached homes on allotment land in School Close were approved.

The four objectors – Kevin Brockwell, Angela Curtis, Marilyn Wright and Helen Shackle – whose homes border the site, were among six people who had written to the council to oppose the plans due to a lack of parking and drainage, loss of wildlife and increased noise.

However, the committee unanimously accepted the borough council’s application to build the two bedroom bungalows on the allotment site at the southern end of School Close, which is currently used as allotment gardens.

Following Tuesday’s meeting, the objectors said their main gripe was over parking as their street was already cluttered with cars, especially on Saturdays when car boot sales brought in motorists to park or turn in the cul-de-sac.

Many cars parked on verges, they added, creating a ‘rat run’ which drivers coming in or out of the narrow street had to negotiate, endangering children’s safety.

They feared the developers were going to build on a small piece of ground, which could accommodate three cars, and said the plan to include one parking space and garages for the new homes would not be enough for families with more than one car.

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Ms Shackle said: “They have not listened to our views at all on parking. Our back wall has been demolished a number of times by cars parking in the street and we have had to pay for it.”

The four objectors also said the council’s procedures were unclear and they would have spoken at the meeting, but their invites arrived only days before the meeting was due to take place. They also said they had not received notices about the plans, and had been told about them second hand.

However, Chris Dove, capital projects manager in community housing at the borough, told the meeting the “allotments” were originally gardens belonging to council houses, but had become disused and overgrown.

Only one villager was renting a garden on a temporary basis, he added.

“Within the borough there is a shortage of semi-detached bungalows so we thought this was the ideal site.

“We have concluded that most of the problems are at the end of the close where people park. The bungalows will be of similar construction and materials to the properties adjacent to them, and there is a six foot high hedge around the site which will prevent overlooking,” Mr Dove added.

Councillor Mick Castle said if there was no parking included in the development plan he would be more understanding of the objections; but as parking had been included it would not make the situation any worse.