Knights Hill homes decision was 'unreasonable', developers claim
Councillors acted “unreasonably” when they blocked plans for hundreds of new homes on the edge of Lynn, developers have claimed.
Proposals for 600 houses at Knights Hill were rejected earlier this year, amid widespread local opposition and concerns over the impact on surrounding roads and heritage assets.
But agents acting for the applicants, Whistle Wood and Reffley Wood Ltd and Mr Peter de Grey Osborn, signalled their intention to challenge that decision in recent weeks.
And a statement of their case, which was published on West Norfolk Council’s website yesterday, claimed the benefits of the proposal significantly outweighed those concerns.
The document continued: “It will also be submitted that the council’s reasons for refusal are not justified and cannot be substantiated.
“It will be argued that the council has therefore acted unreasonably in refusing the application on these grounds.”
Borough planning officials had recommended that the scheme should be approved before it went in front of the authority’s planning committee in March.
But, in rejecting the plan, councillors argued that the impact of additional traffic flows had not been fully assessed and the development would have an unacceptable impact on landmarks such as Castle Rising Castle.
However, the applicants have submitted a letter from Historic England which stated they had no objection to the plans, despite acknowledging there would be harm to some heritage assets.
They also highlighted the presence of the land within the authority's list of allocated sites for development, despite calls from nearby parish councils for the site to be removed following the March decision.
And they claimed the council’s ruling had prevented road improvements designed to address opponents’ concerns about additional traffic from going ahead.
The statement said: “Refusing planning permission at Knights Hill has created a situation whereby negative impacts on the local highway network will result.”
No date has yet been set for the appeal to be heard, though it has been suggested that a hearing could take place just before Christmas.
Earlier this month, Richard Blunt, the borough council's cabinet member for development, said the authority was preparing to defend its decision.