Case not made for houses on site constrained by flood and newts

An inspector found biodiversity, flood risk and local character reasons to refuse outline permission for 35 dwellings across the whole site of a substantial house set in extensive grounds outside a scattered linear village in Norfolk, and five houses on the meadow only.

The larger scheme indicated a cul-de-sac layout of the land to the rear of frontage housing. The inspector considered this would result in a block of development jutting out into the open countryside which was alien to the distinctive linear built form of the village.

For both schemes, the inspector concluded insufficient information had been submitted to establish the full extent of flood risk or to demonstrate that the amount of development proposed could be accommodated alongside any necessary drainage to mitigate flood risk. Great crested newts, a European protected species, and grass snakes were also known to be on the site but again insufficient survey work had been carried out to establish appropriate mitigation. The inspector decided the potential harm to protected species and wildlife, and from flood risk, carried substantial weight against both proposals.

In his overall conclusions, the inspector decided the harms he had identified outweighed the benefit of housing, including 40 per cent affordable homes in the larger scheme, in an area without a five-year supply of housing and a record of persistently not delivering sufficient housing.

Inspector: Clive Hughes; Hearing

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