Concerns over homes plan at former orchard and beekeeping base

Plans for new homes off Orchard Close in Briston have been recommended for approval. Image: Google S

Plans for new homes off Orchard Close in Briston have been recommended for approval. Image: Google StreetView - Credit: Archant

Plans for nine new homes on the site of a former north Norfolk fruit orchard and apiary are recommended for approval, despite concerns over traffic access, noise, neighbours’ privacy and the impact on a hedgerow.

A North Norfolk District Council report concludes the planned development in Orchard Close, Briston, should be agreed by the authority’s planning committee on Thursday, October 15.

Hertfordshire-based Options for Homes has applied to build the mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom homes on the 0.42ha site.

The application says the land once had a number of beehives, and the former owner was well-known for his beekeeping.

According to the planning and access statement: “As the landowner grew older beekeeping became too much and the hives and bees were relocated in the neighbouring village. The orchard fell into disuse and the fruit trees were removed some 10 years ago.”

Several objections have been lodged by Orchard Close residents as well as the parish council, which said the access road onto the close was “extremely narrow” and unsuited to more traffic.

A submission from parish clerk Jenny English said: “Briston Parish Council also objects to houses, not bungalows, being built opposite the existing properties in Orchard Close as this will lead to loss of privacy for the residents.”

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She said the parish council was also concerned about the loss of trees at the site, including a boundary hedge on Bure Road/Orchard Close which the NNDC report said was “an old hedge and home to much wildlife, as well as giving excellent insulation/noise reducing properties”.

But the application said the hedges around the site would “not be threatened by the development”.

At Thursday’s meeting the planning committee is also due to consider an application for a two-storey house at Bridewell Street, Walsingham.

This plan was called in to the committee for examination because the applicants - Tom and Vincent FitzPatrick - are councillors.

A council officer’s report recommends the plans be refused because the home would be out of character with the area, and would mean trees at the front of the site would be lost.