Rural Norfolk car dealership plan to be decided

11:19 am 23 August 2022

11:34 am 23 August 2022

A plan to turn a garage into a mix of accommodation and a car dealership should be presented to planners – but there could be a wrench in the works.

An application to add a business to Langley Cottage, near the River Yare in Langley, is due to be made to South Norfolk Council (SNC) on Wednesday.

The car dealership has already started operating from the site and before the meeting, officers recommended that the application be denied.

The area proposed for use as a car sales business is a gravel driveway and parking area. No new buildings would be constructed on the site.

Langley Parish Council and four residents wrote to oppose the plan.

The council criticized the dual residential and commercial use and raised concerns that the plan would create too much traffic along the narrow country lanes.

Other objections called the location ‘unsuitable’ for a quiet hamlet and conservation area, along with concerns about the impact it might have on road safety, the business was too big and would have impact on local wildlife.

However, rather than being open to casual passers-by, the applicant said viewing would be by appointment only. This is to reduce the number of people visiting the site.

The applicant also estimated that there should be between 10 and 14 purchases and sales of vehicles per month.

Norfolk County Council’s Highways Department also raised no objections to the scheme.

SNC officials said the plan did not follow policies for monitoring employment in the countryside.

The agent said: “The application does not propose to reuse redundant or hard-line rural buildings, the site of the application is not particularly well tied to a town or rural village and the proposal would not create accessible jobs or business opportunities in the rural area.

“The bid also fails to demonstrate overriding benefits in terms of economic, social and environmental dimensions and is therefore not in line with the policies.”

The requester was contacted but declined to respond for comment.

To the south of the site is an agricultural barn which is also being considered for conversion into a house under a separate application.