June 20 2013 Latest news:
By Tom Bristow
Saturday, July 21, 2012
A planning inquiry was thrown into confusion when it emerged the wrong evidence was being used to appeal a decision to reject new homes.
The planning inspector opened the inquiry into South Norfolk Council’s decision to reject 70 new homes in Costessey on Tuesday.
But on Thursday afternoon the inquiry was almost derailed when it came to light that evidence from a different application was being used.
One onlooker said: “The whole inquiry got a bit farcical.”
Green and Norwich Consolidated Charities had their application rejected last year to build the homes in Townhouse Road.
The plans were changed and a second application was then put in.
But almost three days into the inquiry on the first application it emerged some of the evidence based on maps and models of the site from the second application, rather than the first, was being used.
Duncan Lister from the Townhouse Road Action Group, who is giving evidence against the appeal, said: “The confusion caused by this mix-up has resulted in additional strain and time on the community of Costessey.”
The inquiry, which was supposed to last two days, will now go into a fifth day.
It was saved from being abandoned after both sides reached a compromise on the evidence to be used at the appeal.
They agreed that Bidwells, who act for the landowners, could use maps showing the development further away from Carr’s Hill Wood as drawn up in the second application, but figures and evidence over housing density should be based on the initial application.
Yesterday Howes Percival finished giving their case for the inquiry to overturn the council’s decision.
The planning inspector is now going on holiday until next week, meaning the inquiry will start again on Wednesday August 1 at the Costessey Centre.
Bidwells declined to comment on the mix-up.