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Hellesdon B&Q could be taken to court after failure to comply with planning agreement

PUBLISHED: 15:30 17 March 2011

A national hardware store could be taken to court by a Norfolk council after failing to comply with a planning agreement.

When Broadland Council granted B&Q planning permission to develop the former Eastern Electricity Board site in Boundary Road, Hellesdon, the company agreed to lay out two hectares of land behind the store as a public open space. It also agreed to transfer the ownership of the open space to the council and pay the authority £44,000 – the costs of maintaining it.

While the land has been laid out in accordance with that deal, there is no public access, it has not been transferred to the council, and no money has been paid.

Planning officers are therefore recommending Broadland councillors agree to take enforcement action against B&Q when they meet next Wednesday.

According to a report to next week’s meeting, Hellesdon is the most deficient parish in the Broadland district in terms of public open space.

A Broadland spokesman said: “If the planning committee agrees to follow the recommendation to take enforcement action then the matter will be referred to our legal advisors. It could lead to an injunction requiring that the land be transferred to the council.

“The land currently is fenced off and there is no public access. The land was to have been transferred to the council, but this has not happened. The council requires it for public open space.”

Last month, Broadland’s legal advisors wrote to the company stating that it had 21 days to comply with the agreement before it pursued the matter through the courts, and no response was received.

Shelagh Gurney, who is district and county councillor for Hellesdon, confirmed that Hellesdon was short of green public open spaces,

A B&Q spokesman said: “We have recently met the council and are in discussions with them to try and resolve this matter.”

Have you got a planning story for the Evening News? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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