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East Bergholt Parish Council is asking for a judge to review legality of 144 home planning application

PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 April 2016

East Bergholt residents Peter Dent and Paul Ireland along with Rolf Althen, Tony Brigden, Martin Cave, Barry Davison and Joyce Baker are unhappy about the proposed plans to build 144 new homes on an empty plot of land.

East Bergholt residents Peter Dent and Paul Ireland along with Rolf Althen, Tony Brigden, Martin Cave, Barry Davison and Joyce Baker are unhappy about the proposed plans to build 144 new homes on an empty plot of land.

A parish council in the heart of Constable Country which disagreed with a planning decision made by Babergh District Council is asking for a judge to intervene.

Permission was granted for 144 homes to be built on land next to Moores Lane in East Bergholt last month by the district council’s planning committee despite opposition from within the community.

Both East Bergholt Parish Council and the Action East Bergholt (AEB) group opposed the plans, together with local residents.

Since the permission was granted those against the plans attempted to get the decision ‘called in’ and decided by central government.

When that did not happen it was decided to ask for a judicial review.

This is a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.

A short statement on the website of East Bergholt Parish Council said: “After careful consideration the parish council has decided to take the planning applications on Moores Lane and Hadleigh Road to judicial review.

“Babergh’s unwillingness to listen to the views of the people of East Bergholt left us with no alternative.”

A judicial review does not look at whether the decision reached was right or wrong, just whether the process used in making that decision followed the correct procedures.

If it is found the decision was not reached lawfully the ruling could be declared invalid.

A spokesman for Babergh District Council said it was unable to comment on the issue because it had not received notification of any legal proceedings relating to East Bergholt.

Speaking at the start of April Peter Dent, chairman of AEB, said it was the scale of the development which had angered villagers.

“I think it’s important to remember there’s no-one in the village who’s against development,” he said earlier this month. “It’s absolutely clear everyone fully accepts development has to happen. All we’re saying is not 144 homes.”

There is also a feeling the development would spoil the landscape immortalised in the paintings of John Constable, born in the village.

“I think Constable and what it stands for is fairly precious to the majority of people in East Bergholt,” Mr Dent had said.

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EADT writer David Vincent has more than 40 years experience in Suffolk. He has explored the highways and byeways of East Anglia, meeting homeowners, developers and estate agents from Bury St Edmunds to Aldeburgh and Colchester to Diss.

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