Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Long Melford: Site ‘over-valued’ to deter commercial buyers

08:00 28 December 2012

Long Melford residents hired a bus to take a petition to Babergh potesting against plans for 51 houses on a former business site in the village

Long Melford residents hired a bus to take a petition to Babergh potesting against plans for 51 houses on a former business site in the village

Archant

A SITE in a historic Suffolk tourist village earmarked for a 51-home development was offered for sale at three times its market value to deter commercial developers, residents have claimed.

shares

Plans to develop the former Fleetwood Caravan factory site in the heart of Long Melford’s conservation area have been criticised by villagers who set up a neighbourhood group, collected 850 signatures on a petition and sent 250 letters to Babergh District Council objecting to the development.

Now group member Vivian Woodward has claimed that a marketing report for the site commissioned by Barratt Homes – a parent company of David Wilson Homes which has submitted the housing plans – over-valued the land and made it “unviable” for a commercial developer.

One of the protestors’ arguments against the development is that the land should be retained for commercial or industrial use to create employment in the village. Suffolk County Council highways department has already recommended the application be refused because of the “inadequate and dangerous” access to the site and increased demand for parking on the high street.

Mr Woodward said: “The re-zoning of the land from industrial/commercial to residential purposes lies at the heart of this issue. The derelict buildings were advertised for industrial/commercial use at a cost of £1.5 million, a price appropriate for residential but not industrial development.”

According to Mr Woodward, the Land Registry shows that Fleetwood Caravans purchased the site in 2003 for £435,000.

He added: “Official UK government statistics on the increased cost of constructing industrial/commercial buildings shows that the current market value in 2012 should be no more than £550,000, particularly since the site is known to be contaminated by industrial use.

“The report was unquestioningly accepted by the Babergh planners in September 2012, but if this is held to be valid it means that any residential builder can take an option on an industrial site, advertise it at a price set high enough to deter industrial use and therefore force a change in land use from industrial to residential.”

A spokesman for David Wilson Homes defended the report, which he said was carried out at Babergh’s request by “independent” consultants, and was verified and accepted by the district authority.

According to Babergh’s valuation office, the rateable value of the site in 2010 was £135,250. Babergh was not available yesterday to comment on how it arrived at the £1.5million valuation.

The current consultation period for the housing plans is due to expire on January 2, but a date for determination has not been set.

shares

0 comments

Tom Challis and Julia Carroll just before they left to travel the world in February.

The parents of Julia Carroll, from Boxford, have told how the 22-year-old made contact via Facebook to confirm she was safe after escaping Nepal earthquake.

Shawn Leek setting out on the first of seven marathons. Today he hopes to complete the challenge

Shawn Leek is feeling the pain today having run more than 180 miles in the past week - ending with the London Marathon this afternoon.

The Anzac Day parade from the Cornhill in Ipswich on Sunday led by the Ipswich Piping Society

Thousands of Australian and New Zealand forces who died during the First World War’s disastrous Gallipoli campaign have been commemorated on the centenary of the offensive in Ipswich today.

The Orwell District Scouts St George's Day open air service by the Leisure Centre in Felixstowe on Sunday

Scouts and Guides proudly raised their flags and paraded through Suffolk towns today to mark St George’s Day.

Angel Hall, missing 14-year-old girl from Leiston

A teenager from east Suffolk who was reported missing yesterday morning has been found safe and well.

Fire in Great Yeldham - stock photo

A ground floor flat was heavily smoke logged when fire crews arrived at the scene this afternoon.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A man who was banned from keeping dogs for 15 years after footage showed him punching and slapping his two Labradors has had the disqualification reduced from 15 years to 10.

The Revd Martin Dawes with his model train lay out at Woodbridge Methodist Church during the Toy and Model Train Show.

The pews were transformed into platforms and hymn sheets were discarded in favour of timetables as a church was transformed into a model railway network.

Lowestoft Town centre.

A fire broke out on the ground a semi-detached house on Victoria Road this morning.

Suffolk Cycle Sportive for St Elizabeth Hospice at Alton Water.

A charity has reported a rise in the number of women joining their annual Suffolk Sportive cycle event in the wake of the high-profile Women Tour passing through the county.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages