The planning inquiry into a contentious east Suffolk housing application resumes today –five months after public opponents last gave evidence calling for its refusal.

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Hopkins Homes’ appeal against the refusal of its 26-dwelling development in Yoxford has been scheduled for three days at Suffolk Coastal District Council’s base in Melton.

Tim Wood, the planning inspector who presided over the first two-day hearing in February, will hear evidence from the appellant and Suffolk Coastal District Council, which refused the original application.

Geoff Holdroft, who is responsible for planning at the council, said the decision would be “strongly defended” as the proposed development would “adversely impact on unspoilt local historic parkland”.

“A balance has to be found between the often competing need for new homes and the need to protect our environment,” he added.

“In this case, it was felt that this development did not achieve that balance.”

Hopkins Homes previously argued that the benefits of the proposal far outweighed the adverse effects and highlighted the council’s housing shortfall as evidence for its need.

A spokesman for the developer said: “Hopkins Homes welcomes this opportunity to present our proposal as we strive to provide much needed housing within the County and specifically within Suffolk Coastal District, which is currently falling well short of meeting its housing delivery requirement.

“The proposed site was the only area of land highlighted as a potentially suitable location for development within Yoxford by the local planning authority and this, in line with our commitment to deliver sustainable developments within sustainable locations, will allow us to deliver a mixed scheme including affordable housing for local people, that both complements and is sympathetic to the local area.

“The provision of new homes helps to maintain employment and importantly creates many new jobs, from the trades to suppliers and all other areas associated with the construction and sales of the homes together with boosting the local economy and supporting local services and facilities.”

Mr Wood is expected to make his decision on the appeal by the end of summer.

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