Planners say ‘no’ for second time to homes bid on edge of Yaxham
PUBLISHED: 17:54 29 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:21 30 August 2017
A developer has seen an application for 25 homes in a rural village refused for the second time after it came back to Breckland Council on a technicality.
Glavenhill Strategic Land wanted to build the homes on land north of Norwich Road, between the main settlement of Yaxham and Clint Green, near Dereham.
It was refused in March on grounds that it was outside the settlement boundary, would result in intrusion into the open countryside and would not form sustainable development. This meant it was contrary to certain planning policies which led to planners agreeing with officers that it should be refused.
But it returned to the planning committee after members were told they had not been able to give material consideration to the fact that the council could not demonstrate a five year housing land supply.
This meant that the policy protecting land from development if it is outside the settlement boundary should not be given weight in their decision making.
But the planning committee agreed that refusing it on grounds of impact on open countryside was still a strong enough reason.
They were also boosted by the fact that Yaxham is the first village in Breckland to have completed its Neighbourhood Plan which recommends small organic growth and to keep strategic gaps between distinct communities.
District councillor Paul Claussen called it a “eureka moment” for the council and urged a second vote for refusal.
But fellow councillor Pablo Dimoglou was heckled by members of the public when he said the homes were “absolutely needed”, adding that “kids need houses”.
After the meeting Neighbourhood Plan working group chairman Maggie Oechsle said it was “an historic day” for Breckland. She said: “It was the first time it had decided a planning application when taking account of a fully fledged Neighbourhood Plan.
“This proved its value in Yaxham, and for other communities in Breckland.
“This application was just too big, in the wrong place and poorly designed and Yaxham does not have the services to support it. We thank the officers and the committee for listening to the community and welcome this second refusal.”