A homeowner's bid to build a new home on backyard scrubland has been blocked amid fears it would harm peacocks roaming a Norfolk village.

Andrew Chapman wanted to construct a two-bed home behind an existing row of houses on land off the A47 in East Winch, near King's Lynn.

The application gathered objections from locals, who worried building on this land would mean peacocks that are known to roam between gardens in the area would be harmed.

Eastern Daily Press: The property in Lynn Road, East WinchThe property in Lynn Road, East Winch (Image: Google)

One self-proclaimed animal lover who lives nearby said: "There are many peacocks and peahens that travel from Church Lane over the gardens down towards Lynn Road. They are beautiful wild creatures who together with the nesting bird population would be greatly disturbed by this application."

READ MORE: Plans revealed for wetland near Norfolk town

Another neighbour said: "I would urge the planning committee to not seek to destroy these birds but allow them to remain undisturbed as they are a significant part of East Winch history."

West Norfolk Council later rejected the application as it was considered a 'backland' development that goes against planning policies that restrict new housing from being built in these circumstances.

The council's refusal led to an appeal being made by Mr Chapman to the Planning Inspectorate - a government department that presides over planning matters.

On his behalf, agent Simon Lemmon argued that there had been a precedent set in the area due to comparable 'backland' developments being allowed and that it was set in a good location with access to public transport.

But after assessing the evidence, Neil Devereux, the inspector, decided that the council made the correct decision when it blocked the application.

In his report, he said: "I conclude that the proposal would harm the character and appearance of the area" and that agreed that the development would be in conflict with the local policy framework.

Mr Chapman has since said he is an animal lover and would not have done anything to harm the roaming peacocks and that the application was refused due to issues with access to the property.

Eastern Daily Press: A peacock on the loose in NorfolkA peacock on the loose in Norfolk (Image: Newsquest)



Peafowl, known as peacocks if male and peahens if female, are the national bird of India.

They have long been a popular ornamental bird and many have escaped captivity and roam freely.

A family of peafowl is called a bevy. They can also be called an ostentation, a muster or even a party.

These exotic birds have been known to mysteriously appear in people's gardens and last April a bevy of peafowl took a particular fancy to gardens in Dereham.

And in 2022 a pair of peacocks also went on the loose in a suburb of Norwich and were spotted wandering around Eaton.

Locals in East Winch regularly spot a feral group wandering around gardens in the area.

While male peafowl are known for their brightly coloured plumage, their female counterparts have drabber colours and shorter tails.

 A peacock's tail makes up more than 60pc of the bird’s total body length.