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125-property Persimmon Homes development in South Wootton approved despite being labelled 'ugly'

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A plan to build 125 new homes in a village has been approved by borough councillors, despite concerns over the “dismal” appearance of some of the properties.

The scheme is the second, smaller phase of a duo of developments on the western edge of South Wootton, just outside Lynn, with a larger 450-home scheme to the south-west granted permission in May.

The 125 homes, to be accessed from Nursery Lane, had already received permission in principle in 2019.

The second phase of a major development close to Lynn has been green-lighted despite misgivings of some planning committee members
The second phase of a major development close to Lynn has been green-lighted despite misgivings of some planning committee members

At a meeting on Wednesday, July 20, members of West Norfolk Council’s planning committee decided whether to give their final approval to the scheme’s finer details.

At the meeting, a representative of the developer Persimmon Homes said the new estate included an “overprovision of open space”, and the properties’ design would “respect the existing character” of the village.

But independent councillor Jo Rust slammed the designs, saying: “They’re not even [just] bland and boring, actually they’re quite ugly.”

She also expressed concern over whether there would be enough trees, rather than small shrubs, on the development: “We’ve just experienced two of the hottest days on record and unless we have street trees, we’re not going to make it cooler for anybody.”

She was joined by independent councillor Sandra Squires, who said: “It always amuses me when I hear the words ‘This is good design’ and when I look at the pictures of the houses, I think ‘Wow, that’s anything but’.

“They are ugly. These are pattern-book houses that are developed across the country exactly the same on every single housing estate that are developed.”

Councillors continued to express disappointment after the designs for bungalows on the site were presented, with Conservative councillor Anthony Bubb saying: “They are really dismal. Nobody’s going to envy you living in one of those.”

Conservative councillor Elizabeth Nockolds defended the designs, pointing out: “A home is what you make of it, at the end of the day”.

She added that there was a need for new and affordable housing in the area.

Independent opposition leader Terry Parish, seconded by Green councillor Michael de Whalley, put forward a motion to refuse the scheme, but they were narrowly defeated. The committee then voted by majority to grant permission.

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