Homes approved on banks of Broad despite tree damage legal action

Boats on Oulton Broad.

Boats on Oulton Broad. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Two new homes are to be built on the banks of Oulton Broad, despite the landowner facing prosecution for attempting to poison a tree.

The Broads Authority's planning committee approved plans to demolish a home on Broad View Road and replace it with a new house, as well as construction a second on the adjoining plot.

Concerns had been raised, however, of an out-of-character design and overdevelopment in the area.

Broad View Road, in Oulton Broad.

Broad View Road, in Oulton Broad. - Credit: Google Maps

Councillor Andree Gee said: "In my mind, a hideous building is being replaced by an even more hideous building and a second one beside it.

"That style of building is completely out of character with the street and the Broad."

The house is currently uninhabitable due to water damage, and is now set to be demolished, despite a number of objections from nearby residents and Oulton Broad Parish Council.

Councillor Harry Blathwayt.

Councillor Harry Blathwayt. - Credit: Archant

Councillor Harry Blathwayt said: "As you enter Oulton Broad by boat, one of the first things you see is this building plot. 

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"I don't like the thought of added buildings interfering with that view, but perhaps that's selfish."

Six neighbours voiced support for the plans, however, with councillor James Knight saying: "I can't really see a reason why we would refuse it.

James Knight, South Norfolk's representative to the Broads Authority.

James Knight, South Norfolk's representative to the Broads Authority. - Credit: Archant

"Many objections seem to relate to a loss of public amenity but this is private land.

"It is really about a view and, whether it's a good thing or bad, that's not a planning consideration.

"We might all like to look across other people's gardens and think wouldn't it be a shame if someone built on it, but this is within the development boundary." 

Committee members, who approved plans by seven votes to two, with two abstentions, had been told the decision to prosecute the landowner could not be taken into account when assessing the application.

Just three weeks earlier, the committee agreed to prosecute for wilfully damaging the tree, which sits between the two proposed developments, in the Oulton Broad conservation area.

It came after a consultant visited the site in January to find 15 holes had been drilled into the mature beech tree, some of which had been filled with fungal pellets and plugged with twigs.