Housing giant branded 'greedy' over alleged breach of planning rules

Some of the walls of new homes being built on the Festival Park site being developed in Easton by Persimmon Homes Anglia

Some of the walls of new homes being built on the Festival Park site being developed off Dereham Road in Easton by Persimmon Homes Anglia - Credit: Peter Milliken

A councillor has accused a housing giant of "putting profit before safety" after it allegedly ploughed ahead with its build instead of installing a crossing at a busy road.

Peter Milliken, 57, who sits on Easton Parish Council, said it is ready to take South Norfolk Council (SNC) to task for allowing Persimmon Homes Anglia to build above ground level before it started work on a safe crossing from the Festival Park site to Longwater Interchange.

A spokesman for housing developer Persimmon denies the claims, saying the firm was "confident no breach has occurred".

Mr Milliken was alerted to some walls of the 890-home development off Dereham Road in Easton which he believes are being built above the foundations.

He says this breaches a vital planning condition imposed by SNC when it granted permission in 2016.

Mr Milliken said: "I hope it doesn't get to court but Easton Parish Council are prepared to go if need be. The worm has turned. Councils should not allow corporate greed and incompetency in planning departments that destroy communities."

Easton Parish Council member Peter Milliken

Easton Parish Council member and former chairman Peter Milliken (insert) and what the Festival Park Persimmon Homes Anglia homes will look like once complete - Credit: Denise Bradley/Persimmon Homes Anglia

He accused SNC of inaction over the alleged building breach.

"Safety is paramount for everybody. With COP26 happening, we are trying to cut down on emissions. If people can walk they should walk. It is only about a mile from Easton to Costessey," Mr Milliken added.

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"Big developers feel they can walk over anybody and make a profit at all costs. Safety is secondary."

The former chairman said that the parish council had enough funds to fight a legal battle.

A SNC spokesman said: "The council is currently talking to and working with Persimmon Homes and Easton Parish Council regarding the alleged breach of condition 22 and investigating the matters raised.

"The council will continue to work proactively with the developer and interested parties to try and resolve the issues and will take proportionate action where and if necessary. In the case of this development, we are continuing to seek legal advice which the council hopes will result in a positive outcome."

The Persimmon spokesman added: "We continue to engage with all stakeholders to deliver this development within the parameters laid down by the local authority.”