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Gayton planning legal battle 'cost council £40k'

By David Hannant, Local Democracy Reporter

A three year planning dispute over proposals to build 50 homes in a West Norfolk village has cost rate payers more than £40,000 to resolve, it has emerged.

Borough council chiefs have described the bill incurred to defend their original decision to reject the scheme in Gayton as "unfortunate."

But they say an inspector's ruling upholding their original decision justifies their moves to fight the case.

GV ofthe Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, King's Court Hq, Chapel Street King's Lynn. (10996667)
GV ofthe Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, King's Court Hq, Chapel Street King's Lynn. (10996667)

The authority took legal action when a government planning inspector overturned its decision to reject plans to build on a site off St Nicholas Close.

The inspector’s decision was quashed by the High Court and, earlier this month, a second inspector ruled in favour of the council, overriding the original appeal.

Fighting to defend its decision in the two appeals and the High Court cost the council £40,126.

Richard Blunt, the council’s cabinet member for development, said: “It is unfortunate that the council had to challenge the original appeal decision in the High Court, which was proven to be legally flawed, but clearly it was the correct thing to do.”

New Hall Properties, the company which sought to develop the site, says the scheme considered by both inspectors was identical and claims the case shows the "subjective" nature of the appeal process.


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