Norfolk villagers challenge minister over new planning rules

Residents of a Norfolk village where silos and a lorry park are to be built have urged a minister to visit to see how the development will affect them.

Crisp Maltings Group Ltd won permission for the development at Great Ryburgh near Fakenham on Thursday.

North Norfolk District Council said the scheme would now go ahead as agreed.

Campaigners said planning minister Greg Clark should see what the impact of the "more liberal" National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) would have on them.

Council officials advised councillors deciding on the scheme to take in to account new guidance in the draft new guidelines.

The new rules played a significant part in the decision to approve the Great Ryburgh scheme but councillors said many other factors were also considered.

In an open letter to the minister, the villagers said they had been fighting the plans for the eight-acre site for the past 18 months.

The letter said: "The Great Ryburgh proposal appears to validate everything that the critics have so far been saying about the potential impact and uses of the NPPF.

Legislation 'misinterpreted'

"The legislation has been flagged by yourself as supporting economic growth and house building.

"However, the Great Ryburgh case highlights exactly how such legislation can be misinterpreted."

Campaigners have claimed the plans for the greenfield site would result in no production increase and no new jobs.

"The proposed site is located on land designated as environmentally sensitive," the open letter said.

"We have campaigned, we have petitioned and we have lobbied. We have not been heard."

North Norfolk District Council said the decision had been made to allow the scheme, which would go ahead as planned in due course.

The Department for Communities said the letter was being considered but they were unlikely to become involved in any planning dispute.

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