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Housing schemes in Attleborough and Mattishall approved despite strong opposition

PUBLISHED: 13:53 21 September 2015 | UPDATED: 13:53 21 September 2015

Carvers lane, Attleborough

Carvers lane, Attleborough

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2015

Housing schemes in Attleborough and Mattishall were today green-lighted by councillors, despite fierce public opposition.

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman. Picture: Matthew Usher. Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The long-running plans to build 91 homes on Carvers Lane in Attleborough were approved by Breckland Council’s planning committee this morning, with a majority of seven councillors to three.

Since it came to light three years ago, residents have maintained their concerns over a surge in traffic in West Carr Road and Honeysuckle Way and potential flood risks.

Another worry has been the pedestrianisation and diversion of Carvers Lane, a secluded right of way which is often used as a quicker route for emergency services.

The approval for the outline application came despite more than 300 signatures on an online petition and at least 120 letters of objection, pending flood reports and the lane being outside of the settlement boundary.

Speaking during the meeting, Attleborough mayor John Taylor said the “town can’t cope” with the extra houses and that the decision would “make a mockery of the notion of local community planning”.

Councillor Keith Martin, who sits on the planning committee and is a district councillor for the town, said that Attleborough had already taken its fair share of housing, with more than 4,000 homes earmarked for the town.

Meanwhile, plans to build 35 homes on a parcel of agricultural land off Cedar Rise in Mattishall were also given backing by councillors.

The outline application attracted more than 150 letters of objection, including one from Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman.

Liz Hunton, from Mattishall Parish Council, said that a decision should be deferred until the completion of a neighbourhood plan being made by the village council.

District councillor Bill Borrett said: “This neighbourhood plan should not be underestimated. It is a very powerful document. To make a decision now without the benefit of the plan would be a mistake.”

But the planning committee decided it was too early in its development and that waiting would delay a decision until next year.

Tony Abel, managing director of Abel Homes, who submitted the plans, said that the company always does the “honourable thing” and that the application met all the necessary criteria.

He said: “We will not seek to build more homes in excess of the 35.”

Five councillors voted in favour of the scheme and five against, with chairman Nigel Wilkin casting the deciding vote.

Residents attended to hear the outcome of both applications, with disappointment voiced as a decision was reached.

• What do you think of the decisions? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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