Attleborough homes plans approved

PUBLISHED: 11:28 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:22 14 July 2010

Developers have been given the go-ahead to build 22 homes on the outskirts of Attleborough after allaying concerns about the scheme's impact on protected trees.

Developers have been given the go-ahead to build 22 homes on the outskirts of Attleborough after allaying concerns about the scheme's impact on protected trees.

Bennett Homes applied to Breckland Council for permission to build on a semi-derelict piece of land in Slough Lane, once used as a piggery.

Although the site is considered acceptable for development under local planning policies, the scheme was originally recommended for refusal by planning officers.

One of the main concerns was that a planned pumping station could damage the roots of a large oak which was one of eight trees on the site safeguarded by tree protection orders.

But Breckland's development control committee approved the scheme on Monday after principal planning officer Nick Moys told councillors that those concerns had been overcome.

There was particular concern over the pumping station being built near a large oak tree, but additional information has been provided by the applicant and the layout of the pumping station has been re-jigged to move all the equipment outside the protection area of the tree. The tree protection officer has therefore withdrawn his concerns.

The one-hectare site will contain a mixture of two, three and four-bedroom homes, from bungalows to two-storey houses.

Mr Moys said although the area was just outside Attleborough's settlement boundary, the scheme was considered acceptable because it provided an opportunity to improve a derelict site, and was bordered by residential areas on two sides.

As part of its proposal, Bennett Homes has agreed to provide six of the homes as affordable housing and committed to financial contributions of £71,667 towards education, £20,060 to recreational facilities and £3,000 to transport.

Peter Francis, councillor for Queens ward, queried the transport contribution in the context of much larger developments expected in Attleborough during the next 20 years.

The town is earmarked for 4,500 new homes as part of the district's Local Development Framework planning, with a public consultation on site specific proposals due to start next month.

Mr Francis said: “The idea that someone will come along and make an application for 2,500 homes is a pipe dream - it might happen, but it might not. If all these applications are going to be small applications, then at some stage we need to look at building the roads and bridges so that when we get the site specifics recommended to us we know what to do with them.”

Mr Francis was told the Bennett plan was a “one-off” which should not be considered part of a larger development, and the transport money would pay for localised improvements.

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