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Village development refused as homes would spoil its ‘character’

PUBLISHED: 16:08 24 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:04 28 February 2020

A planning officer has said that homes in a village would be detrimental to its character. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A planning officer has said that homes in a village would be detrimental to its character. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

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A bid for four homes has been refused after an officer found it would be detrimental to a village’s character.

The land in Woodton where the homes would have been developed. Picture: GoogleThe land in Woodton where the homes would have been developed. Picture: Google

Bruce Seaman Farms made an application to South Norfolk Council to build up to four homes on an area of land south east of The Street, in Woodton.

After receiving more than 10 objections from villagers and consultees, the council's planning department rejected the proposal as it would change the characteristic of the village.

The housing bid featured four homes set back from the road with a private access lane. The plans said this is needed to create sufficient drainage, but case officer Tim Barker said in a refusal report that this road would mean the homes would look out of place alongside existing homes.

It said: "The proposed extensive private drive, which is necessary to avoid flood risk related issues, would lead to a layout where the properties are set a significant distance back from the carriageway which is at odds with the prevailing character of the other dwellings."

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It was the Bungay-based farm's second bid to build homes on the land following an application which was refused in December 2018.

"The adverse impact of the development on the character and appearance of the locality is considered to demonstrably and significantly outweigh the perceived benefits," the report added.

Louise Bond, of Bruce Seaman Farms, said that she is disappointed with the decision.

Concerns were raised by Woodton Parish Council, which said because the site is on a bend, drivers' views could be obstructed while trying to join The Street. This was addressed with a visibility spray, a wider clearing in junction.

A planning statement, created by Durrant, on behalf of Bruce Seaman Farms, said that South Norfolk is unable to demonstrate a five-year land supply. This means the council was not able to prove it was building enough homes in a five-year period.

But Mr Barker, in his refusal report, said this was not the case.

Bruce Seaman Farms can appeal the decision or resubmit a planning application for the land.


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