Homes bid for Lowestoft thrown out for the second time

Graham Elliott

Graham Elliott - Credit: Archant

A CONTENTIOUS bid to build homes on a piece of greenfield land in Lowestoft has been thrown out by councillors for the second time.

On Tuesday night Waveney District Council's development control committee rejected plans for nine homes to be built at the Stables at Woods Loke East.

The application by Euro Project Management was refused after concerns were raised that building the homes would be affect a green corridor and its wildlife – including bats.

Tuesday's 'no' vote happened after the outline plans were re-submitted following an earlier rejection by them by the committee in October.

However after Tuesday's decision an agent for Euro Project Management said the company would be 'happy' to appeal against the committee members' vote.

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Committee member Graham Elliott, ward member for Beccles North, said the plans should be rejected as it would create a precedent for other developers eyeing up the Woods Loke East area.

He said: 'What I am concerned about is the principle of development on that green corridor.

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'We are nibbling into a green corridor. It will affect the character of the area. We will be taking a significant nibble out of it and I would worry it would be the first nibble of many.'

Mr Elliott's comments were applauded by residents of Woods Loke East area who attended the planning meeting at Lowestoft Town Hall.

Speaking at the meeting was Peter Coull of the local residents group who said an ecology report that showed there were no bats living on the site was wrong and that his group would soon provide Natural England with its own report.

Mr Coull said: 'The ecology report is simply not accurate.'

He then urged councillors to reject the plans under a duty of care as it would 'protect' the community.

Roger Bellham, member for Lowestoft's St Margarets ward, said if the plan was approved then the town would be losing a green area.

He also raised concerns that the area was known to flood.

Tony Hook, an agent for Euro Project Management, told the committee the homes plan had been recommended for approval by council planning officers who had said ecology and flooding concerns could not be reasons for refusal by the committee.

Mr Hook said: 'There is no such thing as green corridor in planning law.'

If the plans were rejected again he said: 'We are happy to go to appeal.'

More than 30 letters of objection had been sent into Waveney about the plans which would have seen three terraced and six detached homes – three of which would have been affordable.

Tuesday's committee discussed the re-submitted plans after they were deferred in December to allow time for planning officers to study a report concerning an earlier planning submission for the site by Flagship Housing in 2010.

The housing group's bid for 39 homes was thrown out by Waveney on the grounds it would be detrimental to the character of the area and impact on wildlife, and there were plenty of brownfield sites elsewhere in the town available for development.

Flagship appealed but lost after a planning inspector investigated it. But the planning inspector did say 'there does not appear to be a compelling reason to keep the site entirely free of development.'

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