A new bed and breakfast in the heart of Burnham Market was approved yesterday, as supporters and opponents clashed over their conduct in relation to the scheme.
Opponents were accused of telling “untruths” over the Market Place plan as it came before West Norfolk Council’s planning committee.
And members overwhelmingly backed the plan, despite the concerns of residents and community leaders who claimed it was a “gross overdevelopment” of the area.
Six suites are proposed for land at the rear of the existing building, on which work is already taking place to turn it into a bar and restaurant under an earlier planning consent.
Planning officials, who had called for the scheme to be approved, told the committee they felt it was a “well thought out” plan that was acceptable under policy guidelines.
But parish councillor Cindy Stimpson said neighbouring residents were already having to endure increased noise and light pollution as a result of the restaurant project.
She warned that the additional work would only intensify the problem.
She said: “This application is chipping away at the planning process, would result in gross overdevelopment and therefore should be refused.”
Resident Terence Cartwright also called for a number of conditions to be imposed on the development and claimed revisions made to it so far were inadequate.
However, applicant Chris Borrmann insisted the work currently taking place at the site was allowed under permitted development rules and proper procedures had been followed in submitting them.
He claimed the development only covered around 20 per cent of the site and accused a neighbouring resident of overdeveloping their land.
And he said parking permits would be provided to guests at the business’ expense, adding: “We should be welcoming businesses creating jobs and welcoming tourists. The objections are full of ifs, buts, false assumptions and untruths.”
The argument continued even after the committee reached its decision, with one member of the public claiming threats had been made over the issue.
Opponents had also claimed that letters sent to the borough council in support of the scheme had been written by non-residents of the village, while the objections were from full-time residents.
However, the supportive letters outnumbered those of objectors.