George Freeman urges residents to contact minister over controversial Tiffey Valley plans

A packed public meeting upstairs in the Feathers public house, Wymondham discuss the application to

A packed public meeting upstairs in the Feathers public house, Wymondham discuss the application to build homes on land near the Tiffey Valley. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

Wymondham residents have been urged to contact the minister who confirmed that communities secretary Eric Pickles would have the final say on controversial plans to build 70 new homes in the town.

Local people in Chapel Lane, Wymondham where there is concern over proposals to build in the Tiffey

Local people in Chapel Lane, Wymondham where there is concern over proposals to build in the Tiffey Valley which looks across to Wymondham Abbey.Photo: Paul HewittCopy:Celia Wigg For: EDP newsEDP pics © 2005(01603) 772434

Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman said it was 'imperative' people now write to parliamentary under-secretary for planning Nick Boles to encourage the Department for Communities and Local Government to reject the Chapel Lane application.

Mr Freeman wrote to Mr Pickles asking him to 'call-in' or 'recover' the decision to build homes on land overlooking Wymondham Abbey, which means the final decision will be taken by the secretary of state.

He argued that granting planning permission would send a devastating message to the people of Wymondham as it would 'significantly harm the landscape' of the area.

In a response received by Mr Freeman last week, Mr Boles agreed to recover the appeal.


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Mr Boles said the government will call in decisions if they 'raise wider planning issues' and 'where their outcome could be felt beyond the local area'.

Following an inquiry which took place over seven days in October and February, government planning inspector Jeremy Sargent will now send a report with his recommendation to Mr Pickles, who will consider the decision.

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Mr Freeman said he was 'delighted' the government had listened to his views.

Terence Povey, of the Friends of the Tiffey, which has campaigned against the plans since they were submitted in August 2012, said the most effective approach was to 'emphasise the extremely harmful impact' the development would have on the landscape of the abbey and the Tiffey Valley.

He added: 'It is also important to emphasise to Mr Boles the strength of local opposition to the proposals. While hundreds of people have written to the council objecting to the scheme, not a single person has written to them supporting it.'

To have your say, email nick.boles@communities.gsi.gov.uk quoting APP/L2630/13/2196884 or write to Nick Boles MP, Department for Communities and Local Government, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DU.

What do you think of the Tiffey Valley plans? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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