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Delight at plan decision

PUBLISHED: 14:29 16 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:54 21 May 2010

Villagers let out a collective cry of delight when councillors refused to give controversial plans for a lodge park the go-ahead.

THPD Properties had applied to convert derelict Breckland Garden Centre at Yaxham into 50 holiday cabins, with a campsite and other facilities.

Villagers let out a collective cry of delight when councillors refused to give controversial plans for a lodge park the go-ahead.

THPD Properties had applied to convert derelict Breckland Garden Centre at Yaxham into 50 holiday cabins, with a campsite and other facilities.

Bosses promised the initiative would give the economy a £2m cash injection as well as providing more than 10 local people jobs.

Yet many residents fiercely opposed the scheme on the grounds the development was too big for a small village, the roads would be unable to cope with increased traffic and that plans for recycling water were inadequate.

And on Monday Breckland Council's development control committee refused planning permission for the project citing not enough evidence of environmental protection.

The council received 31 letters of objection and a petition with 126 signatures while Yaxham parish council and Whinburgh and Westfield parish council also opposed.

Phillip Duigan, a member of the development control committee, said: “The status of these properties concerns me.

“They're supposed to be holiday places. People could live here for 11 months of the year, and they're likely to be professional people, who go abroad for a month on holiday. This could be their permanent address. And that is not what the application is for.”

Peter Francis, also a member of the committee, said: “The problem with this application is that many expert reports which we rely on to make a decision haven't come back to us.

“It would be irresponsible of us to make a decision until we know the measures for environmental protection have been taken. Why the application wasn't put in when all the reports were ready I don't know.”

As the councillors unanimously decided to refuse the application, members of the public who had come along to the meeting, clapped and cheered.

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