December 9 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Controversial plans to build 600 homes at a former industrial site which have drawn fierce criticism in a Suffolk village are set to be discussed tomorrow.
Planning chiefs at Babergh District Council (BDC) are consulting on whether to change their planning policy to allow farmland to be developed after landowners St Francis Group lodged plans to redevelop the former Wardle Storeys site in Brantham in June.
It is understood the group, which bought the 99acre (40hectare) site in 2007, wants to develop the land to allow 300 homes to be built on both brownfield and greenfield land – believed to be agricultural land between the factory site and the village.
The move provoked widespread condemnation with residents raising fears at a Brantham Parish Council public meeting when the proposals were put under the spotlight.
Trevor Nobbs, vice chairman of Brantham Parish Council, said building 300 new homes on the greenfield site would “effectively destroy the village” ahead of tomorrow night’s meeting between the parish council, BDC and residents.
He said: “Hundreds of people came to a public meeting about Babergh’s proposal to change its core strategy to allow greenfield land near the former factory site to be built on and feelings are running high in the village about this issue.
“In total it could mean a planning application for around 600 houses – an increase of close to 60% on the current size of the village.
“Nobody is against the redevelopment of the Wardle Storeys site but residents do not want to see building on the greenfield site nearby which is currently farmland.”
Simon Barrett, councillor for economic development at Babergh, and who is attending the meeting, said: “I look forward to hearing the views of the local people. There is no application on the table currently but we are anticipating one soon.”
A six-week BDC consultation ended on July 9. Mr Barrett said the council was awaiting the report from the inspector. It is expected to be submitted within the next two months.
The St Francis Group were unavailable for comment.