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Victory for campaigners

PUBLISHED: 11:11 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:53 05 July 2010

Communities across the Lowestoft area have won a series of major victories after fighting plans to build new homes on three different sites.

Protesters flocked to a meeting of Waveney District Council's development control committee and were delighted as councillors voted against housing schemes proposed for Lowestoft, Kessingland and Carlton Colville.

Communities across the Lowestoft area have won a series of major victories after fighting plans to build new homes on three different sites.

Protesters flocked to a meeting of Waveney District Council's development control committee and were delighted as councillors voted against housing schemes proposed for Lowestoft, Kessingland and Carlton Colville.

However,Ho their joy may be short-lived after frustrated developers indicated they would launch appeals against the committee's decisions - two of which went against the recommendations of planning officers at Waveney.

Following Thursday's meeting, protester Pete Youngman, who led the fight to stop new homes being built at Rowan Way, in Lowestoft, said: “People should stand up and be counted. If you believe you are right about something you have to stick up for it.”

In total, councillors threw out plans for 42 new homes - 20 at The Nordalls in Kessingland, 14 on the Four Acres site at Rushmere Road in Carlton Colville and eight at Rowan Way.

In Kessingland, more than 500 people signed a petition to stop Wellington Construction building 20 affordable houses on land south of The Nordalls.

Many complained the village had suffered from serious flooding problems in the past and that the existing sewers would not be able to cope with further development.

Kessingland Parish Council chairman Liam Martin said: “This application will further overload a teetering system. Local opinion is running high…”

The application was previously turned down and while the applicant came up with a new drainage system that satisfied the Environment Agency, councillors said they had to take into account the views of villagers.

They went against officers' recommendations and unanimously refused the application, insisting that any future bid to build new homes in Kessingland should be accompanied by a flood risk assessment.

After the meeting, Wellington Construction director Philip Oldman said he intended the appeal against the decision, saying there was a shortage of affordable homes in the area and pointing to the fact the Environment Agency had approved the drainage plans.

The application to build eight bungalows on land behind homes in Rowan Way was turned down by one vote after some committee members said there would be a negative impact on neighbours' lives.

Ward councillor Stephen Ardley, who represented the protesters, said: “I think it shows complete disregard for the people of the area…”

The councillors again went against the recommendations of Waveney's planning officers and were warned by Edward Gilder, of Badger Building, that a refusal would leave them open to an appeal.

Mr Gilder said the committee had previously rejected the plans for Rowan Way because it did not want two-storey houses, but that Badger's latest plan was for bungalows only.

Flagship House wanted to build 14 affordable homes at Four Acres but councillors voted 9-2 to refuse the application after officers said the site was classed as being in open countryside and contrary to the Lowestoft local plan for development.

More than 20 objections to the plans from neighbours, a local school and the parish council were sent in, but a spokesman for Flagship House urged the council to be “proactive” to help reduce the shortage of affordable housing in Lowestoft.

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