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Martlesham Heath: Planning boss takes dim view of campaigners’ legal plea

Martlesham Heath and Adastral Park. Photo by Mike Page.

Martlesham Heath and Adastral Park. Photo by Mike Page.

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A district planning chief has disparaged a campaign group’s attempt to persevere with a legal fight to prevent 2,000 homes being built in Suffolk.

No Adastral New Town (NANT) wants judges to reconsider granting an appeal against the High Court’s dismissal of its challenge of Suffolk Coastal’s core housing strategy.

The strategy was approved by the government last year and includes residential development at BT’s Adastral Park in Martlesham.

Geoff Holdcroft, the council’s head of planning shared his frustration at NANT’s request that the decision against an appeal be reconsidered at an oral hearing, despite the Court of Appeal recently turning down a written application.

But NANT hit back, saying that if the council had “properly carried out its obligations in the first place, there would have been no need for us to take the matter to court”.

Mr Holdcroft yesterday told a development committee: “This will inevitably lead to a delay in our ability to move forward with the Core Strategy to create the much-needed jobs and homes in this area, including the affordable house required by young families and low wage earners in the district.

“It is frustrating that a small number of people are continuing to seek to undermine this essential development process, but we remain confident in the rigorous process we followed in drawing up the Core Strategy.”

NANT argues the development - for which a detailed planning application has yet to be submitted - would have an adverse impact on the Deben Estuary - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Special Protection Area (SPA).

The group’s Janet Elliot said: “Councillor Holdcroft is clearly confused when he refers to a ‘small number of people’ continuing to challenge Suffolk Coastal’s reckless disregard for the internationally recognised Deben Estuary SPA. NANT is a large group of people - approximately 4,000 - from across the whole district.

“It is quite wrong to blame NANT for the present delay. If Suffolk Coastal had properly carried out its obligations in the first place there would have been no need for us to take the matter to court.”

A top barrister from Suffolk has spoken out in a planning row over proposals for a multi-million pound expansion he fears may threaten the tranquillity of Constable Country.

A petition aiming to demonstrate the strength of public support for the multi-million pound Sudbury bypass project was officially launched today at the town hall.

A person who died on the rail line near Ingatestone in Essex on Thursday has been named as 15-year-old William Tweed.

Five pieces of lifesaving equipment have been installed in shops across Suffolk, thanks to money raised from the 5p carrier bag charge.

Doctors anticipating a severe outbreak of flu this winter are desperately urging vulnerable people in Suffolk to get vaccinated against the virus.

Police have released an image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with an assault in Colchester.

Suffolk’s largest teaching union has launched a campaign over the “savage” levels of school funding under the new national funding formula (NFF).

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