September 16 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, August 7, 2014
A final decision on a controversial bid to build homes on land overlooking the Wymondham Abbey is expected in the next few days.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles will have the final say on the application to build 70 homes on Chapel Lane, after his department recovered the appeal in March.
At the time, it was announced that a verdict would be reached by August 8.
The plans provoked uproar in the town when they were submitted in August 2012, with hundreds of residents raising concerns over the potential damage to the landcsape of the abbey and the Tiffey Valley.
Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman campaigned against the application, which was submitted by the Hertfordshire-based Fairfield Partnership to South Norfolk Council.
The council was flooded with objections to the plans, which were refused in February 2013 on the grounds that the development was outside the limit of the town and would have a harmful impact on the setting of the abbey.
But in June 2013, the Hertfordshire-based partnership lodged an appeal, prompting Mr Freeman to write to Mr Pickles asking him to recover the decision - a request which was accepted in March.
Granville Smith, organiser of the Friends of the Tiffey Valley group, said: “We are all hoping for a good result, which, from our point of view, is no development at all.
“If they can’t protect this then they can’t protect any where in south Norfolk - I understand why you have to have development but it needs to be in the right places.
“It’s difficult to say which way it will go but we are all hoping the right decision is made.”
Let us know your thoughts on the decision by emailing reporter Lauren Cope on Lauren.firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeting @EDPLauren