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Homes backing will boost village hall

PUBLISHED: 10:29 02 September 2008 | UPDATED: 11:21 28 May 2010

Planning chiefs have agreed to waive a rule that housing developments should include affordable homes so a parish council can make more cash from the sale of a chunk of land to fund a new village hall.

Planning chiefs have agreed to waive a rule that housing developments should include affordable homes so a parish council can make more cash from the sale of a chunk of land to fund a new village hall.

Breckland Council agreed to give Kenninghall Parish Council permission to build 10 homes on land it co-owns in the village, where its current aging village memorial hall stands.

Sale of the land, whose value will be increased by not having an element of affordable homes, will help pay towards a £750,000 new facility on adjacent land, bought off a farmer for the project.

Normally, any new developments over a certain size in villages in Breckland are meant to have a percentage of affordable homes.

But despite major concerns about the departure from policy, the council's development control board yesterday agreed to let Kenninghall have its way.

Peter Kay, chairman of the memorial hall committee, said the group had been working towards a new hall for 10 years.

“Kenninghall has got a track record for providing facilities for itself including the playfield and two woodlands.

“But a village hall can't be self financed.”

They had received a blow when they were told they wouldn't get Lottery funding, he said.

And added the new hall would improve sporting and recreational facilities in the village as well as social inclusivity.

Planning permission as granted pending a legal agreement which would aim to ensure a village hall does get built as a result of the planning application.

This will be drawn up by officers. The village hall committee currently has £100,000 saved towards the scheme.

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