A TINY hamlet of just 17 homes and 36 adults has been recognised as the newest parish in Suffolk.

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Mid Suffolk District Council has officially recognised Darmsden, near Needham Market, and it is the district’s second smallest parish.

From next April, the community will be able to hold its own meetings and discuss its own issues, after a 14-month long campaign proved successful.

Records date back to the start of the 20th Century, when Darmsden was described as ‘a settlement occupying SE corner of Barking Parish’.

Campaigner Denys Hoyland, of Darmsden, said: “People are very pleased. It will mean we will be able to have control of our own affairs and give our own views and recommendations to planning decisions.

“About half of the voters went up to a Barking Parish meeting. Nearly everybody spoke. It gives you an idea of the community involvement in the whole process.”

Mr Hoyland spoke at a district council meeting in October last year where he said the “interests and priorities” of Barking and Darmsden are “entirely different” and both have their own identity.

The district council said the majority of people of Barking and Darmsden had responded positively when the question of creating the new parish was raised.

Speaking in last week’s meeting, councillor Ray Melvin, chair of the group which looked into the proposals, said: “The proposal before you may not herald a world-shattering event. It is important, interesting, possibly unique, but certainly justified that the area of Darmsden be separated from its current parish of Barking and become Mid Suffolk’s 124th parish.”

The new parish is dwarfed by Barking, which has 177 homes and almost 380 electors but it will still be larger than Athelington, with its 14 properties and 24 adults.

A sum of £750 will be transferred from Barking Parish Council to Darsmsden’s accounts as start-up funding.

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