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West Norfolk village homes bid rejected amid safety fears

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A plan for 43 homes in a West Norfolk village has been knocked back by councillors concerned about the safety of children.

The proposal to build the properties in Terrington St Clement was turned down after fears were raised about a play area being placed next to a drainage pond.

The scheme had already been given permission in principle, but the finer details were discussed by West Norfolk Council’s planning committee on Monday.

King's Court. Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk.. (34663047)
King's Court. Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk.. (34663047)

The developer’s agent told the meeting that the “the scale, form, and appearance of the dwellings will assimilate well into the existing village scape, reflecting the character of nearby housing and enhancing this edge of village brownfield site”.

Local independent councillor Sandra Squire raised several concerns ranging from road safety, uncertainty over materials used for the homes and biodiversity.

She said she was also concerned about the planned location of a children’s play area next to a drainage pond.

“You can fence it all you like but toddlers are fast and unless it’s a totally, completely fenced-in area, which will look ugly, they will get through it,” said Ms Squire.

Independent opposition leader Terry Parish said there had been 340 public objections to the application for permission in principle and that there were 52 objections for the detailed application.

“What it says to me is that this development has come forward against a lot of public opposition, so the very least that can be done is that the developer should do the best possible job and officers and us should ensure that they do that,” said Mr Parish.

“Now, I can’t quite see that they are doing that.”

Jo Rust proposed rejecting the application against the advice of officers, on the grounds that the placement of the play area next to the pond was dangerous.

An officer warned that this seemed a weak reason to reject the application, given the balance of advantages and disadvantages to the development.

He said the rejection could therefore be lost if the developer appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

But councillors voted nine to two against the plan, with five abstentions.

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