Mid-Norfolk MP calls Mattishall planning appeal decision ‘deeply disappointing’

George Freeman MP. Picture: Ian Burt

George Freeman MP. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

The MP for Mid Norfolk has called a planning inspector's decision to uphold an appeal 'deeply disappointing.'

Residents of Mattishall protest against the houses proposed to be built on the edge of the village.

Residents of Mattishall protest against the houses proposed to be built on the edge of the village. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

It comes after Gladman Developments was given permission to build up to 50 homes on land south of Dereham Road in Mattishall on Tuesday.

In the appeal decision document inspector Gareth Jones, acknowledges the development conflicts with numerous local policies, including the Mattishall Neighbourhood Plan, but states these considerations do not outweigh the factors in its favour, primarily the delivery of housing.

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman said he read the decision with great disappointment.

He said: 'This is a case that I have supported the local community on for many months – having previously written to Breckland's Planning Department with my concerns, spoken in support of residents at the Breckland Planning Committee hearing back in July, and made a formal submission of my views to the Planning Inspectorate.

'I will be looking at this latest development very closely with the community and local councillors to establish what we can do next.'

Mr Freeman used the decision to highlight the urgent need for reform in the government's approach to planning and said the public's trust in the planning system needs to be restored.

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The chairman of Mattishall Parish Council, Richard Norton, said the news has left the community feeling 'dejected, angry and disenfranchised' and it goes against the neighbourhood plan which was put together over two years using a considerable amount of public money.

'This decision flies in the face of that plan and disregards the policies therein,' he said.

'This subjective decision opens the floodgates for other wealthy developers and land agents who will now think they have carte-blanche. How does a community which has conscientiously done the right thing fight against this? We have no right of appeal.'

Anna Loake, of campaign group Mattishall Matters, said: 'I do not know if there is anything left that we can do now - I think we have reached the end of the road. This is not true democracy, just something that pretends to be. The only winners here are the developer and the taxman.

'I honestly wonder why we even bother to try and make a difference. I certainly won't waste my time again in future.'