09 September 2011
Letter to George Freeman

This is an issue in which I, and many others in this village, truly hope you will be able to get involved in order to have Breckland Council see some ethical and moral sense rather than a purely financial one. Breckland Council are pursuing an attempt to obtain planning permission on a piece of ground that has been used as a play area for the past 60 years at least. Some while ago Breckland agreed to gift the land and an adjacent piece to Caston Parish Council provided that Caston PC met all legal costs with the transfer to which Caston PC readily agreed. During the legal process a deadline was set by Breckland for completion but due to delays with solicitors the deadline was not met. Breckland immediately cancelled the arrangement although Caston PC had already paid Breckland's solicitors' fees. Breckland Council subsequently made clear their intention to obtain planning permission on the plot which is immediately adjacent to the Caston telephone exchange.

Caston is a small village, which I’m sure you will remember from the time you were campaigning here of course, that has only this informal play area which has been played on by children under the watchful eye of their parents in the adjacent houses for longer than most folk here can remember. This is a very small area in front of the adjacent property on which Breckland Council are seeking planning permission from themselves (being Breckland Council) for one pair of small semi-detached houses. This action by Breckland has caused outrage in the village and I would urge you to read comments left by some of the many interested parties on the village web site http://www.caston-online.co.uk/blog.asp?blogid=3834 This will fully familiarise you with the facts.

You may also care to listen here http://www.caston-online.co.uk/news.asp?intent=viewstory&newsid=38300 to Caston parish councillor David Blincow’s short interview with BBC Radio Norfolk which went out live at 8am this morning.

David will be far more capable of filling you in on the fine detail of this case than I but it is an issue of local importance that very much needs your urgent intervention if for no other reason than to get a delay in the planning decision so that a proper defence can be mounted. Better still of course if through your intervention you are able to have Breckland withdraw the application.

It is a strange situation where we find that Breckland has a Play Policy and yet this planning application is in direct opposition to that policy. Furthermore, at a risk of repeating myself, we have a situation where Breckland is applying to their own planning committee for planning permission for themselves – surely that cannot be right. It is also fact that Breckland denied approval for two larger houses for which planning was sought further along the road but may well approve this, their own application.

Your urgent intervention will be greatly appreciated.

• David Blincow can be reached on 01953 488 495
• David’s email is steadfast2@btinternet.com and he is on copy to this email
• John Roger, our district councillor is on copy also
• Breckland’s planning reference is 3PL/2011/0939/F


Brian Brooker

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