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Fury as Foulden homes bid is backed by councillors for a second time

By David Hannant, Local Democracy Reporter

Planning Applications (2791579)
Planning Applications (2791579)

A controversial housing scheme has been given planning permission for a second time, even after residents threatened legal action to stop it.

Members of Breckland Council's planning committee gave outline approval, subject to the completion of legal agreements, for 21 homes to be built on School Road in Foulden, near Northwold, in July.

But after the council received pre-action letters indicating members of the public were willing to take the decision to judicial review, the scheme was brought back before councillors for re-consideration on Monday.

Members took the advice of planning officers to uphold their original decision and approve the scheme.

However, they reversed a decision to approve plans for six new homes in Beeston, which were also approved earlier this year and which had also been subject to a potential legal challenge.

Foulden resident Neil West, who was among those who fought the authority's decision, said afterwards: “There doesn’t seem to be any consistency to the decisions being made.

"The Beeston application was refused as it was considered unsustainable, even though Beeston has far more amenities than Foulden.

“I’m not sure at this stage what our next move will be.”

Mr West had lodged a formal complaint to the council over what he perceived to be inaccuracies in the officer's report on the application.

It was brought back to committee after Richard Buxton Solicitors indicated to the council that another Foulden villager, Marianne Christian, was preparing a judicial review.

The original decision was also the subject of an online petition.

However, a supplementary report from planning officers concluded that representations made since the original meeting, including the continuing opposition of parish councillors and county roads officials did not "materially alter" their view.

The application, from Derek Hales Ltd, was approved with an agreement that the developers will provide a new footpath across the playing field to the local village hall.


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