Nearly 150 homes set for East Bergholt after Babergh committee approves development plans
PUBLISHED: 14:55 23 March 2016 | UPDATED: 15:00 23 March 2016
There are set to be 144 new homes built in East Bergholt after a Babergh planning committee approved plans in the face of local opposition.
Dozens of members of the public tried to cram into the council chamber in Hadleigh, with many eventually having to settle for an overspill room, to hear the debate surrounding the application ahead of the decision earlier today.
The homes would be built on land north west of Moore’s Lane in the village, part of the Suffolk countryside immortalised in paintings by John Constable.
More than 400 letters of representation were made to the council regarding the application which would cover nearly 19 acres.
Concerns about traffic levels, speeding and the loss of the village’s character were all raised at the meeting.
Stephen Williams, the ward member for East Bergholt, spoke at length against the application, saying: “This flies in the face of the core strategy.”
He also spoke about the villages neighbourhood plan, adding: “East Bergholt are to be commended for their neighbourhood plan.
“They have spent £30,000 or there abouts on additional support to create their neighbourhood plan. If this application goes ahead all of that will be wasted.”
Nick Ridley, who seconded a proposal to approve the plans, said: “I believe that East Bergholt offers us a development which has got a full batch of affordable housing, the site is not that large.
“We very rarely get offered a full 35% affordable housing. This has been very much welcomed and I think will be welcomed by this committee.”
Within the 144 home site there will be 50 affordable homes built, a mixture of one and two-bed apartments, two and three-bedroom houses and three-bedroom bungalows, along with 94 market homes ranging from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom houses.
“We’re very disappointed because the planning committed has ridden roughshod over two years of work and a huge level of support from the local community,” said Paul Ireland, chairman of East Bergholt Parish Council.
“Babergh have clearly made it obvious to us they are not interested in localism.
“Standing here today, given the amount of work I know is involved I would recommend any parish council not to go to the trouble of developing a neighbourhood plan if it’s going to be ignored as ours has today.”
Peter Dent, chairman of the group Action East Bergholt, said a judicial review into the decision today would be sought.