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Date published: 11th October 2018
A planning appeal which could have led to the building of 200 homes at Sculthorpe, near Fakenham, has been withdrawn, meaning the development will not go ahead.
The planning appeal submitted by Indigo Planning, on behalf of Amstel Group Corporation, for proposed housing in Sculthorpe, has been officially withdrawn with the Planning Inspectorate.
North Norfolk District Council has repeatedly argued over the course of the last three years that the planned development was not sustainable, was not in the right place and would have harmed a number of heritage assets.
The news has been welcomed by North Norfolk District Council because it will mean the end of a long running planning battle which looked likely to lead to another lengthy public inquiry.
Recent success by the Council in defending a decision to refuse a proposal for 200 houses at Green’s Road, North Walsham, has helped confirm NNDC’s strong five-year housing land supply position – a factor which may have had a bearing in the decision to withdraw the appeal at Sculthorpe.
Cllr Sue Arnold, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, said: “I welcome the decision by Amstel to withdraw their appeal.
“Whilst the Council needs to ensure it is planning for sufficient homes across the District, the proposal in Sculthorpe was in the wrong place and was of the wrong scale for a community of Sculthorpe’s size.
“Had it been granted, the scheme would undoubtedly have undermined delivery of planned housing and employment growth in Fakenham and elsewhere.
“The Council continues to plan for growth of the right scale, in the right locations and at the right time through the existing Core Strategy and through the new Local Plan and has successfully resisted piece-meal proposals that would undermine the plan-led system.
“I’m certain the work done at NNDC to confirm a strong five-year land supply position will have undoubtedly influenced the decision to end the appeal.
“I would like to congratulate those involved in defending these appeals on behalf of the Council.”
Cllr Tom FitzPatrick, ward member for Walsingham, which includes the parish of Sculthorpe, said: “I’m pleased that the appeal has been withdrawn, this was never going to be a sustainable development.
“I’m also pleased that the original North Norfolk District Council decision to refuse the development will now stand. This will certainly be welcomed by the villagers of Sculthorpe, who I have supported as ward member over the last few years. They faced having their village doubled in size.”
January 2016: NNDC refused planning permission for an application by Amstel Group Corporation Ltd for 71 homes, a new access road, side roads, drainage works, play areas, landscaping works in phase 1; with up to a further 129 homes, primary school, land for community resource centre and play area in phase 2.
April/May 2017: A six day public inquiry was held by a Planning Inspector to consider an appeal against that decision.
July 2017: The Planning Inspector announced he was dismissing the appeal, a decision welcomed by NNDC.
February 2018: A challenge to the July 2017 decision, raising eight grounds, was heard by Mrs Justice Lang in the Royal Courts of Justice.
March 2018: The result of this challenge is announced. All but one of the grounds is dismissed as unarguable. Concerning one of the grounds – having regard to the public benefit of a new school – the judge finds that a legal error has been made and the issue must be reheard. All grounds are open to be argued again.
October 2018: The planning appeal is withdrawn.
Last updated: 11th October 2018