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Stokesby conservation anger

PUBLISHED: 12:34 25 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:30 03 July 2010

PLANS to designate large areas of a village as a conservation area have caused anger.

The Broads Authority wants to create the zone in a bid to preserve the look of Stokesby but the plans have concerned residents

However, proposals have concerned homeowners, who under the conservation area would be prevented from knocking down or extending buildings, putting up a satellite dish and chopping down or even lopping a tree.

PLANS to designate large areas of a village as a conservation area have caused anger.

The Broads Authority wants to create the zone in a bid to preserve the look of Stokesby but the plans have concerned residents

However, proposals have concerned homeowners, who under the conservation area would be prevented from knocking down or extending buildings, putting up a satellite dish and chopping down or even lopping a tree.

And villagers face asking the authority if it is okay to paint their own homes to make sure they fit in with the zone's aims of protecting the special architectural or historic look of Stokesby.

As well as some villagers complaining that the conservation area is another layer of unwanted bureaucracy, the Broads Authority has been criticised for not holding a public meeting about its plans.

Trevor Barber now faces the prospect of having all the 1,000 trees on his land protected and categorised by the authority and will need permission to work on any of them.

Mr Barber, who has lived in Stokesby for eight years, said: “The proposals will mean more bureaucratic interference and many of us feel we have far too much of this in our lives already.

“We just want to be left alone and if I want to paint my fence the only advice I should need is from my wife.”

Mr Barber said many villagers he had spoken to opposed the plan and he demanded the authority holds a public meeting to allow people to vote properly on the preservation scheme.

Carol Woodhead, a resident for 20 years, found it absurd that her choice of paint could be questioned by the officials and was worried that without a satellite dish she would not be able to watch television when analogue signals are switched off.

Dozens of people attended an exhibition of the plans and each resident has been sent a form to see if they are in favour of the scheme, which so far has cost about £10,000 and could be approved by the authority later in the year. The questionnaire needs to be returned by March 19.

Under the proposed zone the following limitations or prohibitions apply:

Demolition of buildings will require conservation area consent;

Anyone painting their house or replacing a window is permitted to but is advised to ask the authority for advice;

External cladding and changing roof shapes is no longer permitted;

Greater restrictions on installing satellite dishes and masts;

Anyone wanting to fell or lop a tree must give six weeks notice to do so;

Buildings can only be extended by 10pc and restrictions will be placed on constructing new buildings in gardens.

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