We’ve received the following notification today about a “public consultation” about proposed development of 25 properties on the paddock on Queen’s Road in Hethersett.
Let’s go along and find out more – potentially this puts further pressure on roads and infrastructure that will be stretched with the existing planned developments.
Subject: HETHERSETT ‘GREEN’
“We are having a public consultation to show more details of where we are to date in the Hethersett Academy on 17th and 18th February, 4pm to 8pm.
Following this, we anticipate making an application in March.
I will not be able to attend the consultation but colleagues will be there to deal with questions.
Fleur Developments Ltd
61 Cromer Road
Norfolk NR25 6DY
Tel 01263 712625 Fax 01263 711120
Sadly in the same week as Hethersett received a Big Society award, this article appeared in The Telegraph as part of their investigation into Councillors for hire.
To quote the article:
“Indigo Public Affairs’s strategy for obtaining planning permission is best illustrated by its management of one housing development.
The application covered 1,196 homes in Norfolk, along with a primary school and other facilities.
South Norfolk councillors approved the new estate at Hethersett, near Norwich, despite more than 100 letters of objection.
Councillor Greg Stone explained Indigo’s strategy for the site:
“My colleague, Barry, was very good, actually. He went down to Norfolk quite a few times, and he’s a Conservative himself, so he knows quite a lot of farmers in that part of the world… on the council, so he, he’s got very familiar with Norfolk farming circles and had a talk with them about, off the record, don’t quote me on this, if you’re a, if you’re a farmer, you know, you’ve got land, you probably see the advantage of selling some of your land for, for building houses on it.”
Before the councillors met to make their decision, Mr Stone explained that Indigo would send out a glossy presentation: “Obviously there’s a bit of PR involvement to accentuate the positive rather than the negative, but we’ll send that through 48 hours before the committee to members… nothing too, too complicated but explaining the key messages.” He added: “Like, we’ve often seen in committee meetings, they’ve got the officer’s report in front of them, like that, and they’ve got ours there next to them and they’re reading it.”
Indigo Public Affairs claim a 92% success rate in planning applications by “consulting with local communities and their elected representatives and listening to what they want. This allows their needs and desires to be incorporated into the planning process from the outset. It creates the ultimate win-win – the planning process is easier and faster for developers because communities and genuinely supportive, and local people get buildings they like in the places they want them to be.”
I think we saw little evidence that our needs and desires were taken into account in the planning application.
As I may have mentioned before … I grew up in Hethersett from age 5 to 25 and moved back in recent years. So I am immensely proud of Hethersett for being the first village in the UK to receive a Big Society award from the Prime Minister. This is an amazing achievement for our village and another example of why it is a great place to live. Congratulations to Peter Steward and everyone else who worked hard on the Olympic events over recent years. You have done us proud. You can read the full story in the Eastern Daily Press and on the Number 10 website.
Yesterday’s news was covered today in the Evening News and BBC. In a further frustrating development we read this afternoon in the EDP that Gary Wyatt, Chairman of the Hethersett Parish Council’s planning committee has resigned as a result of the decision.
“I felt I needed to make a stand,” he said. “I have absolutely no argument with Hethersett Parish Council – it is just the frustration with parish councils in general that we seem unable to influence anything that goes on.
“We are the people on the ground, and we know the reactions of people around us, but we seem impotent when it comes to something like this which will increase the size of this village by 50pc.
“This kind of thing makes a complete nonsense of the government’s idea of localism. We are the most local form of government, yet we have no influence or powers when it comes to the really big, important decisions that affect us.”
It’s a sad day when someone who cares about our village feels they have to resign because we can’t have our say.
Our own James Utting said “We have consulted our professional planning consultant to see what options are available – we will maintain as much pressure against this inappropriate development as we are able,”
“The application is wrong for many other reasons, but possibly our over-riding concern is that residents voices have been ignored and elected councillors, when provided with a good opportunity and strong grounds to stem the flow of unwelcome and unnecessary expansion, have favoured the development lobby – not the people they are there to represent.”
According to the BBC story there were more than 100 letters of objection.
You can see the Council Agenda from yesterday (and who made the decision) here: South Norfolk Council Development Management Committee Agenda
Unfortunately we have just heard that South Norfolk Council have approved the planning application by Hethersett Land. 8 voted in favour, 1 against, 1 abstention.
This is obviously extremely disappointing news as it will no doubt affect all of us in our lovely village as we deal with increased traffic and demand on our facilities.
The lack of proactive information from South Norfolk Council has been frustrating. Thanks to Phil for keeping us informed. Hopefully we’ll hear more details so that we can influence how the development is implemented.
We’ll try to keep you informed.
Consultation on the proposed Hethersett development locations closes on Friday so you’ll need to be quick.
It’s pretty easy to respond. Register on the consultation site, if you haven’t already for the other consultations, then from the Hethersett section of the consultation document scroll down and pick the most appropriate question (if in doubt you can respond to Please give us your views on the Preferred Option site), give the reference for the site (if in doubt choose 950a which is the largest site and the one relating to the application from Hethersett Land) and click on the pencil to access the form and submit your comments.
You can also view the comments and objections already submitted by clicking on the magnifying glass next to the question.
Whatever your concerns please make sure you submit them to South Norfolk Council as part of this consultation.
Feedback on the proposed locations for development in Hethersett closes on 26 October. So make sure you email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the online form available as part of the consultation when you register.
South Norfolk Council can only assess your feedback if you provide it!
Help keep Hethersett a good place to live.