Broadland District Councils Planning Committee met yesterday to discuss and decide the application plans for phase two of the Persimmon Golf Course site.
This has not gone as we wanted but we are extremely appreciative of the high level of resident support in that there was an extremely high number of comments. Much of this support has been galvanised through this group. I have learned something by this process about how to influence proceedings and while I’m gutted for Hellesdon and the local residents about the outcome there are 4 more phases to come where we still need to fight to retain as many trees as possible.
Due to the pushback from the Parish council and others over the last 6 months a few more high-quality trees will be retained, a wildlife corridor of sorts will be left between the estate and the school and new tree planting has been increased. See below for a more detailed account of the meeting:
At the meeting I spoke to represent Hellesdon Parish Council and challenged the quality of the Arborist tree reports and the need to adhere to the Green Grid as outlined in our neighbourhood plan. Tree felling was extensive and I tried to save more.
Councillor Shelagh Gurney spoke to support the policies in our Hellesdon Neighbourhood Plan, the amount of trees that were intended for felling, the green grid, lagoons and her proposal to reinstate a second gate near to Drayton
High Road as requested by Hellesdon High School.
Councillor David Britcher also spoke about the high level of concerns in relation to tree felling and future proposal for new planting.
The committee listened and ask a number of questions. The Committee made a decision to reinstate the second school gate but subject to NCCHighways agreement.
Unfortunately and very sadly the committee voted in favour of the application as it is with the potential addition of the second gate.
Hellesdon Councillors are gutted by this decision. Cllr Sue Prutton was one of the Councillors who voted against this application, along with two others. 6 other members voted to support the application so this consequently meant that permission has been granted, 6 for and 3 against.
We are disappointed with this decision however we did fight to save the trees and secure more recognition of our Neighbourhood Plan. We will continue to fight for as much tree preservation within the site as more applications for the 3,4,5 and 6th phases come up for planning permission in the future and the retention of more green open space for formal and informal recreation.
Cllr Marlon Fulcher. Hellesdon Parish Council.