Developer says council's refusal of flats was 'obscene'

The former scout hut site on Dereham Road in Norwich.

The former scout hut site on Dereham Road in Norwich. - Credit: Google Maps

The man behind a bid to build eight flats on the site of a former scout hut has described a planning committee's decision to refuse it as "obscene".

Dan Trivedi, founder of Trivedi Property Developments, hopes to build the homes, in a three-storey building, on the site of the now-demolished Vikings Venture Scout Hut on Dereham Road in Norwich.

An application for the site was refused by Norwich City Council in 2014, but allowed on appeal in 2016. But with permission for construction having expired in 2019, Mr Trivedi resubmitted the same plans.

But after a lengthy debate on Thursday, the council's planning committee, discussing concerns over land stability and traffic, decided to refuse the bid on parking grounds.

Mr Trivedi said the decision was "obscene", and criticised a comment during the meeting suggesting Mr Trivedi should sell the land to the council for £1.

"It's been refused and won on appeal previously, and the application hasn't changed whatsoever," he said. "I have now got to appeal, and will win on appeal, but we have got to go through that process and claim costs.

"If they are in the habit of making completely obscene decisions they can buy the site off me for a million pounds - that's what it would cost for me to sell it."

He said it would be a "black mark" against the committee.

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During the meeting, councillors were told, if they were to refuse the bid, they would have to demonstrate a "change in circumstances" in factors already addressed by the inspector in 2016.

One area of concern for the committee was land stability - the area is known to have experienced subsidence, with chalk quarrying and a limekiln believed to have existed there.

But Mr Trivedi said a 2008 report over ground conditions said the land was fine to build on, and that there had been no changes to the land since then, which meant its findings still stood.

A Norwich City Council spokesperson said: “Councillors were presented with a range of details which informed their decision, taking into account former applications for the use of the site, and any subsequent change in those circumstances."

They said the committee refused the application, as they are entitled to do, and that Mr Trivedi was also entitled to appeal that decision.

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