Plan for six bungalows rejected over space and safety concerns

Rejected Sketcher Partnership plan for six bungalows off Shipdham Road

The plan drawn up by Mr Gore's agents, the Sketcher Partnership, showing how the proposed bungalows would be laid out in a corner of the former Palgrave Brown site, accessed via a private drive coming off from Shipdham Road. The main part of the former Palgrave Brown site is to the right of the bungalows. - Credit: Sketcher Partnership

A property developer has told of his dismay at having an application to build six bungalows on brownfield land in a Norfolk town rejected.

Mick Gore had applied for planning permission for the third time to build homes on the former Palgrave Brown site between Westfield Road and Shipdham Road in Toftwood, Dereham.

Satellite image of former Palgrave Brown site

A satellite image showing the former Palgrave Brown site from above, with Shipdham Road running close to the western side of the site, and Westfield Road on its eastern flank. - Credit: Google

In 2019, he applied to have 24 homes built on the site, with access proposed for most of the houses from Sheldrick Place. 

Town councillors at the time said the plan was potentially “dangerous” and appeared “cramped”.

In 2020, Mr Gore tried again, with access proposed this time from Westfield Road for a development comprising 33 homes. 

Satellite image of corner of former Palgrave Brown site

A zoomed in satellite image showing the corner of the former Palgrave Brown site that Mr Gore had hoped to develop into six bungalows. Access was proposed via a private drive coming off the Shipdham Road. - Credit: Google

This year, Mr Gore suggested developing a small parcel of the site into six bungalows, with access via a private drive coming off Shipdham Road. 

The private driveway viewed from Shipdham Road.

The private driveway, viewed from Shipdham Road. Acting on advice from Norfolk County Council, concerns over poor visibility were listed by Breckland District Council's planning officers as a reason to object to the plan. - Credit: Google

Breckland Council’s planning officers gave several reasons for rejecting the latest plan, including a “cramped form of development” and “inadequate visibility splays” at the bottom of the private drive. 

The private drive is currently used by two houses, located at the top of it. 

According to estimates provided by Norfolk County Council's highways department, six bungalows would typically generate a further 36 daily movements of cars, which would “cause danger and inconvenience” to users of Shipdham Road.

The private driveway, shown where it meets Shipdham Road.

The private driveway, shown where it meets Shipdham Road. Acting on advice from Norfolk County Council, concerns over poor visibility were listed by Breckland District Council's planning officers as a reason to object to the plan. - Credit: Google

Most Read

Officers also said that they had failed to receive an ecological survey, which would have enabled them to assess whether the plans posed a threat to protected species and biodiversity. 

“I was choked, absolutely choked,” said Mr Gore, describing his reaction to the news of the refusal. 

Mick Gore

Applicant Mick Gore said he was "choked" to see the refusal to grant permission for the plan from Breckland District Council. - Credit: Submitted

Mr Gore said that before the refusal, he had asked the council why they wanted an ecological survey.

“I said ‘Why do you want one?’, because the whole site is concrete and they never came back [to me].”

Mr Gore added that permission should have been given to several greenfield sites in the area and said permission should first be given to brownfield sites like his. 

He also claimed that poorer visibility splays and more cramped sites had been given permission in other parts of the town. 

Mr Gore said he wanted the council to “reconsider” and would appeal against the decision. If the appeal is refused, Mr Gore said he intends to re-develop that portion of the site into industrial units, such as garages. 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter