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Application to build 80 new homes on Norfolk 'beauty spot' is rejected

PUBLISHED: 14:03 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:03 31 January 2020

The houses would have been built on land near Blackthorn Road in Attleborough. Photo: Google

The houses would have been built on land near Blackthorn Road in Attleborough. Photo: Google

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A growing town's "last remaining oasis" has been saved from development, after an application to build 80 new homes was rejected.

The proposal to develop farmland near Blackthorn Road, in Attleborough, was rejected this month, after a Breckland Council planning committee agreed the houses would "significantly harm the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside".

The application was submitted by Brown & Co last February, on behalf of the applicants, but the plans have been widely criticised by people living in Attleborough and surrounding villages.

At the time of the application, Breckland district councillor Tristan Ashby said he objected to the plans in the "strongest possible terms", and in a letter submitted to the council during the consultation period, he wrote: "Attleborough has experienced a disproportionate loss of open spaces over recent years and the town is worse for it. This specific area is often used for animal grazing and is very close to the A11."

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In another comment submitted to Breckland Council's planning portal, a resident living nearby described the area as the "one remaining oasis and area of accessible nature" in the town.

The man, who lives on Blackthorn Road, said: "Young children have learned to ride their bikes, see animals in the fields and experience the wonder and enjoy the antics of new foals and lambs each spring. Why would you wish to build on land, which, in view of the way climate change is affecting our weather, is more than ever serving a very real purpose to this community? I can see few advantages in this development other than the developer's profit."

The Breckland Local Plan, which stands as a blueprint for future growth in the district, earmarks Attleborough to accommodate 4,000 additional houses by 2026.

But this quota was filled last year, when an application for a major development between Whitehouse Lane and London Road was approved.

Two new primary schools and the construction of a £18m link road between the A11 London Road and the New Buckenham Road were also included in plans.

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