Application to build 69 homes in Watton is refused

A controversial planning application to build 69 homes in Watton has been unanimously refused today.

The Hopkins Homes proposal to build new houses off Saham Road was rejected by Breckland Councillors because it was a premature application, according to planning officers.

Nick Moys, principal planning officer for the council, said the application was outside of Watton's settlement boundary.

He added that it was submitted before the council's Site Specific Policies and Proposals document (SSPP), part of the Local Development Framework (LDF), was discussed and published.

The SSPP will dictate Breckland's future development and will be discussed by councillors at the start of next year.

In September last year the council's planning committee refused a proposal put forward by Hopkins Homes to build 91 homes in the same area of land and the applicant's appeal to the government's planning inspector was thrown out at an inquiry in June.

Fresh plans were subsequently put forward by the housing developer for less houses, including 27 affordable homes, to be built in the same area.

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Chris Smith, development planner at Hopkins Homes, said: 'We have now looked to address the concerns from the previous application.

'We were hoping the LDF document would be available to the public now but we are where we are. We maintain this is a good site.'

Objections from Watton Town Council and residents included an increase in traffic and the design and layout of the site.

Claire Bowes, ward councillor for Watton, added: 'This is not nimbyism. This is the wrong development for the wrong town.'