Whittington eco homes bid approved despite 'destruction' warning
A proposed development of eco homes in a West Norfolk village was given the go-ahead by councillors yesterday, despite warnings of countryside “destruction”.
Ten Passivhaus properties, which use substantially less energy to heat than standard homes, are now set to be built in Whittington following approval, subject to legal agreements, from West Norfolk Council’s planning committee.
The decision, on a 10 to seven vote, came despite the recommendation of officers, who argued it was unjustified in open countryside and would harm the area’s character.
But agent Matt Sawyer highlighted other approved developments on nearby sites as he insisted the site could not be considered “isolated”.
He argued the application represented an opportunity not just for the village but the borough as a whole.
But neighbour Andrew Bennett questioned how county road chiefs could not object, voicing concerns about the high speeds of some drivers in the area, despite a 40 mile per hour speed limit.
He also warned approving the development would lead to the “destruction of one of the last pieces of open countryside in the village”.
Panel member Chris Crofts argued previous developments in what was classed as open countryside would have gone through when the borough was not deemed to have an adequate supply of housing land.
He said that situation no longer applied, adding: “This is development in the countryside, big time.”
But Sandra Squire said the site did not seem like open countryside to her.
Meanwhile, former council leader Brian Long called for conditions requiring the installation of solar panels and electric charging points to encourage fully sustainable living arrangements.