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Breckland Council re-considers planning calls after review threats, but one decision stands

PUBLISHED: 15:21 18 December 2018

The Beeston village sign. Picture: Graham Corney

The Beeston village sign. Picture: Graham Corney

Two planning decisions approved in Breckland were brought back to committee this week, after members of the public threatened the council with judicial reviews.

In July, members of Breckland’s planning committee gave outline approval for 21 homes to be built on School Road in the village of Foulden.

Meanwhile, in October, the same committee gave full planning permission for a small development off The Street and Herne Lane in Beeston, consisting of six new homes with garages and gardens.

However, after the council received pre-action letters indicating members of the public were willing to take the decisions to judicial review, both decisions were brought back before councillors for re-consideration.

But there were mixed fortunes for the applications, with committee members voting to stand by their original decision over Foulden.

However, on the advice of officers, the committee voted to reverse its October decision over Beeston and refuse the application.

In October, members voted eight to one in favour of the scheme, going against the recommendation of council officers to refuse it.

This time, though, members voted to support its officers, who again recommended the scheme for refusal.

The application had proposed six new homes be built in the village, two of which were proposed to be affordable.

Meanwhile, the Foulden application was subject to a number of objections from villagers, with Neil West, 55 of Walnut Close, lodging a formal application to the council over perceived inaccuracies in the officer’s report.

The application was brought back to committee after Richard Buxton solicitors indicated to the council that another Foulden villager, Marianne Christian, was preparing a judicial review.

However, officers maintained their recommendation to approve the scheme and members voted to follow these.

Mr West said: “There doesn’t seem to be any consistency to the decisions being made. The Beeston application was refused as it was considered unsustainable, even though Beeston has far more amenities than Foulden.

“I’m not sure at this stage what our next move will be.”

The application, from Derek Hales Ltd, was approved with an agreement that the developers will provide a new footpath across the playing field to the local village hall.

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