max temp: 12°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Hawstead: World War One education camp wins planning battle

08:53 07 March 2014

Promotional image for the Great War Experience in Hawstead.

Promotional image for the Great War Experience in Hawstead.


A replica of a World War One army camp will be built in west Suffolk, despite concerns that it will damage house prices and is a disguised ‘theme park’.


The development at Brook Farm, Bells Lane, Hawstead, called The Great War Experience, will consist of a network of trenches, a visitor centre, cafe, huts containing displays as well as a coach and car parking area.

The project, put forward by military history company Khaki Devil, is designed to replicate army camps that sprung up around the county 100 years ago to help educate school pupils, students, historians and members of the public.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Development Control Committee yesterday approved the application subject to a number of conditions, including that the camp can only open between the hours of 9am until 5pm between May and September. It will be allowed to open on six winter days provided it seeks permission from the council.

The application was brought in front of the authority after objections were lodged by people living nearby who argued the development would bring a substantial increase in traffic and that the single track Bells Lane is not suitable for coaches.

Other objections branded the camp a ‘mini theme park’ and focussed on possible damage to the village green, disturbance caused by boise and light, impact on house prices. Janet Watson, from Hawstead, said she feared that “having a constant reminder of death and suffering on the doorstep is likely to have a negative effect on the mental health of the community.”

There was also a concern that ‘letters of support are not from local people’.

But of the 19 letters in support, six were from people living in the village. Resident, Henry Brewis wrote: “I think that a small well thought out use for this site is just what we need. A possibility of some part time employment for local people has to be a good thing.”

The plans were also backed by Hawstead Parish Council, who asked for coaches to be limited to one a day and for no re-enactments.



The church is launching its fight back against gangs targeting places of worship for lead. St Mary's Church, Combs Road, Combs. Left to right is Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Kearton and Ipswich Bishop Martin Seeley.

The public have been asked to help the church and the police combat thieves targeting medieval churches across the country.

Residents have been campaigning for a by-pass for the four villages for decades.

Suffolk County Council is to contribute £450,000 towards building a case for the construction of a new by-pass around four villages on the A12 in the north of the county.

The Greyhound, Lavenham

Two fire crews are at the scene of The Greyhound pub in Lavenham after a small chimney fire broke out.

Lost pig found wandering in Wrabness by public and reported to police

Police are hunting for the owner of a large pig found trotting down the road in Wrabness.

The church of St Peter and St Paul in Lavenham

Supporters of one Suffolk church targeted by lead thieves have rallied round to raise the necessary funds to repair the damage caused to it – and help prevent it from happening again.

Robert Morton

MPs have warned the region’s new ambulance chief they will keep a laser like focus on the turnaround of the service when they came face-to-face in parliament.

Community transport, like Dial a Ride, faces financial cuts.

Funding for on-demand transport in Suffolk is to be cut in half – but there was a furious reaction after the Conservative cabinet at the county council ruled out any new debate on the subject.

Stock image. Photo: PA

Suffolk police have strongly denied officers have used a Taser against a 91-year-old man after being accused of doing so by a BBC investigation.

Bella was brought in the Braintree Police Station with serious injuries

A Shar Pei dog was brought to Braintree Police Station in a “horrific” state with scars across her stomach and internal injuries.

Matt Gaw strikes up a conversation with commuters in London

I’m standing in a queue at a large supermarket. A woman in front of me has long since packed her shopping into carrier bags, writes Matt Gaw.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages