Row over conservation zone

A ROW over a proposed conservation zone for Stokesby has turned into a heated debate over the fundamental democratic right to vote.On Wednesday night, residents were due to vote on the Broads Authority scheme to create the zone which would prevent people knocking down or extending buildings, putting up satellite dishes and chopping down trees.

A ROW over a proposed conservation zone for Stokesby has turned into a heated debate over the fundamental democratic right to vote.

On Wednesday night, residents were due to vote on the Broads Authority scheme to create the zone which would prevent people knocking down or extending buildings, putting up satellite dishes and chopping down trees.

However, the meeting was cancelled after villager Trevor Barber launched a legal bid to make sure residents who could not attend the debate should be given a proxy vote so they could still register their views. A recent survey showed a rough 50/50 split over the zone plan which is designed to preserve the historic nature of Stokesby.

Anti-zone campaigner Mr Barber was so concerned that every villager should have a say that he sent a letter to the parish council saying without proxy voting the meeting infringed Human Rights.


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He also claimed the ancient principles of audi alteram partem - hear the other side - should be the basis of the this week's vote.

However, even though Mr Barber's last minute challenge led to the cancellation of the meeting, the parish council says it will organise another vote without proxy arrangements.

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Stokesby Parish Council postponed the meeting because it needed time to assess Mr Barber's letter.

Chairman Vivienne Fabb said that duly elected councillors had agreed the meeting and vote would go ahead later in the year without proxy voting. If approved the conservation zone will also mean some residents will have to seek advice on what colour they can paint their homes.

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