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Fishing and wildlife plans for farm

PUBLISHED: 10:50 18 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:00 08 July 2010

Norfolk's environmental champion is set to build two commercial fishing lakes and a wildlife pond. But the business venture almost never happened after planning officers deemed it would cause too much damage to the environment.

Norfolk's environmental champion is set to build two commercial fishing lakes and a wildlife pond.

But the business venture almost never happened after planning officers deemed it would cause too much damage to the environment.

Ian Monson, the county council's environment portfolio holder, had to change his first application to Breckland Council because of concerns from wildlife organisations, and the county council.

Originally he hoped to build two fishing lakes, two wildlife ponds, car parking and entrance with paths around the site and landscaping.

Now plans for the site at Church Farm, Oxborough, near Swaffham, include only one wildlife pond instead of two, a different access point, and technical reports including an ecology survey, breeding bird statement and a flood risk assessment.

Senior development control officer Mike Brennan said: “The applicant has now submitted a lot of reports. Breckland has consulted with a lot of people, and no-one has raised objections to the scheme.

“The previous scheme faced objections over the bio-diversity. But the applicant has taken on board what we said, gone away and carried out a lot of consultations, amended the plans, and now there is little objection.”

Five letters of objection were received by Breckland's development control committee over safety of otters living nearby, the ecological impact on the land and the archaeological value of the site.

On Monday councillors gave the scheme the green light providing Mr Monson submits an ecological management plan, construction method plan, uses otter fencing, restricts parking to certain areas and carries out development as stated in the reports.

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