Bressingham & Fersfield Community Connection, 12 October, 2016
You will know that the South Norfolk District Council Planning Committee was due to meet today to discuss the application for the development of the Harvest House grain store facility on the A1066 at Bressingham. This proposal, in its amended version, was causing increasing distress to members of our community, particularly those whose property was in close proximity to the site. Much of the necessary information concerning details such as noise pollution, possible round-the-clock working, environmental disturbance and access had been released after decisions had apparently been made. Officers of the District Council had recommended approval to the Councillors who are the voting members of the Planning Committee. There has been a rising tide of objection to the scheme, with its proposal for seventeen massive silos and detriment to our rural landscape.
We assembled in the council chamber, ready to play our part in the debate. However, after the formalities, the councillors of the planning committee made a formal proposal that the scheme should be deferred until they had had the opportunity to make a site visit and to inspect the proposal in its physical context. I believe this visit will take place in the next fortnight or so. The key piece of news is that the Councillors, including our own member, have not given permission for the project to proceed. This is not a reversal of the recommendation to proceed, but it is a step in the right direction. We have to be very thankful to those who have campaigned against this development, on the grounds of unsatisfactory procedure. We now have to be careful to protect the validity of any possible judicial review, put in place by Mervyn Lambert, should the ultimate committee decision still be to proceed with the scheme.
Had the Parish Council made its statement, a deferment to allow a sensible period of reappraisal would have concluded our submission. So far, we have delayed the onrush of a problematic transition, but it has not ‘gone away’ and there will be more work to do to protect the village from inappropriate development. We are grateful to those who are caring for our home environment!