Norfolk village malting silo plans passed on new rules

Plans for new grain silos and a lorry park at a malting plant in Norfolk have been approved after councillors were told to consider new government rules.

Crisp Maltings wants to make the changes at its site in the village of Great Ryburgh, near Fakenham.

Some residents were angry at the proposal for the "traditional" village but the company said it would benefit local farmers and preserve jobs.

Despite 40 complaints, including a 499 signature petition, plans were passed.

The government has said it is aiming to make planning applications easier and has asked councils to give "appropriate weight" to the need to support economic recovery when considering proposals.

Officers at North Norfolk District Council said they recognised the policy may yet be revised but said at the meeting "the emphasis is a matter which does attract some weight at this stage".

Detrimental to village

Councillors passed the proposal on a vote of 10 to two.

Residents complained it would be a considerable extension to the existing maltings in the village.

They said the loss of green fields would also be detrimental to the predominantly rural character of the traditional Norfolk village.

The company argued the extra space would benefit the local economy, cut transport and provide continued employment for local drivers.

A council spokesperson said after the meeting the new draft framework "did not directly determine this decision" and the councillors had considered many other factors in granting planning permission.

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