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‘Predatory’ developer targets Suffolk’s ‘Lovejoy’ village for 150 new homes

PUBLISHED: 00:07 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:39 15 February 2018

Long Melford residents fear the village is

Long Melford residents fear the village is "under attack" from developers Picture: GREGG BROWN

Fears that a Suffolk village was under threat from ‘predatory’ land speculators has been proved right after Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council confirmed receipt of a planning application from a notorious promoter.

Lovejoy - Ian McShane 

Lovejoy - Ian McShane

Fears that a Suffolk village was under threat from ‘predatory’ land speculators has been proved right after Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council confirmed receipt of a planning application from a notorious promoter.

Gladman Land submitted an application to build 150 houses on the site off Station Road on Friday.

The 19 acre site had recently had an application controversially granted to build a stable for three horses. Villagers worried that the site was being targeted by a ‘land promoter’, a company like Gladman, that specialises in collecting sites ripe for development, doing the arduous work of gaining planning permission and selling them off to house builders for a tidy profit.

More than 200 homes are already either under construction or have permission to go ahead in Long Melford, with sites in Ropers Hall, Hall Street and Bull Lane all earmarked for new homes.

Residents fear an additional 150 would leave the village, made famous by the TV hit Lovejoy, forever changed.

Chairman of the parish council, Liz Malvisi said: “These companies are rapacious in scouring the length and breadth of Britain for district councils without a five year land supply because it’s easier to get planning permission. They’re targeting us.” Mark Ford, a spokesperson of the Save Long Melford Skylark Fields, a campaign group set up to fight large-scale development in Long Melford said: “Speculative land developers use a ‘no win no fee’ based strategy to get landowners on board. We are under attack from Gladman Land and their application is just another red herring. The site is huge and could take 500 homes, but they start small and build up.”

Long Melford Parish Council held a meeting on Saturday to call for volunteers to help complete the neighbourhood plan, which could prove a vital legal recourse in defending against greedy developers and promotors.

Graham Eade, chairman of the steering group said: “Without a neighbourhood plan, Melford will be open season to all developers. We aren’t closed off to people but we cannot see the village swamped with unnecessary large scale developments. By the end of the meeting, we had 100 volunteers signed up and we are hoping to get the plan finished by the end of the year”.

Gladman Land was contacted for comment but did not respond.

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