'I feel vindicated ' - Decision to refuse scout hut housing plan overturned

Norwich city councillor Judith Lubbock. Pic: Sonya Duncan

Norwich city councillor Judith Lubbock. Pic: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A councillor who labelled her colleagues "idiots" as they turned down a housing plan has said she feels vindicated after the decision was overturned by a planning inspector.

In December, Norwich City Council's planning committee voted to refuse plans to build a three-storey residential development on the site of the former Vikings scout hut on Dell Crescent in the city.

A screenshot from the virtual Norwich City Council meeting.

A screenshot from the virtual Norwich City Council meeting on Thursday. - Credit: Zoom

The only committee member to vote in favour of the scheme was Liberal Democrat Judith Lubbock, who held her head in her hands and muttered the word "idiots" as the decision was passed - not realising that her microphone was not muted.

But now the Eaton ward councillor says she feels vindicated after a planning inspector overturned the refusal on appeal, granting the scheme the green light for the second time.

And in a second blow for the council, the inspector also ruled that applicant Dan Trivedi's costs should be covered by City Hall.

The plans had previously been successfully appealed in 2016 after city councillors refused it two years prior, but after with the permission expired the bid went up for decision again.

The site of the former scout hut off Dereham Road in Norwich

The site of the former scout hut off Dereham Road in Norwich - Credit: Google

Council officers warned at the time that were the plans to be refused, the council would be vulnerable to another appeal unless it could demonstrate circumstances had changed.

However, the councillors pressed ahead with turning down the scheme on the basis of potential parking and highway safety fears.

But inspector Luke Simpson overruled the council's decision and granted planning permission for the scheme, which will see eight new homes built across three floors.

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 Mrs Lubbock said: "It is so difficult when people don't want something to happen, but there has to also be grounds for refusal that will stand up as often decisions are taken out of our hands as a local authority.

"With this one, there was nothing new to give us the grounds to refuse it. It is hard to let people down but it had already been successfully appealed once."

A Norwich City Council spokesperson said, “We’re disappointed at the Planning Inspector’s decision to allow the appeal, thereby granting planning permission for the development, and to award costs against the council. We’re currently considering the implications of both decisions.”

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