Planning permission for a new road in Lynn has been dramatically halted after it was revealed that West Norfolk Council had breached its own rules in dealing with the scheme.
Members of the borough council’s planning committee yesterday voted to approve the scheme for the new route between Edward Benefer Way and Lynnsport.
But a statement issued late this afternoon said the application had not yet been granted permission because of a technical error.
And a special meeting will now have to take place next Friday, April 10 to consider the scheme again.
An agenda has already been published on the council’s website, setting out the reasons for the new meeting and the continuing recommendation of officers to approve the scheme.
Chief executive Ray Harding said: “This is a very unusual step, but it is important to us that procedures are properly followed. We have made a mistake and we must put it right.
“Giving people the opportunity to speak at planning committee is an important part of the democratic process and it must be done fairly and in accordance with the procedures we have in place.”
The issue relates to the amount of time objectors were given to make their case against the proposal.
Because the road is classed as a major application, two people should have been allowed to speak for up to five minutes each against the plan.
However, they were told they were only allowed one speaker, for a maximum of three minutes.
Resident Joy Franklin, who spoke on objectors’ behalf, welcomed the council’s decision, but said it was “regrettable” that it was needed at all.
Labour councillor Jim Moriarty, who argued for a deferral of the programme, said: “I said at the meeting that the application felt premature and didn’t understand why we could not defer any decision until the drainage issues had been settled.
“I still don’t understand the rush and I am grateful that the procedural error will mean that there is greater chance of an fully-informed decision being made by the committee and also that objectors will be able to exercise their full rights to argue the case to the committee.”