Decision over 100 homes set for rural village deferred amid public protest
PUBLISHED: 19:00 11 March 2020
A decision over plans to build 100 homes in a rural village has been deferred amid mass protest from local politicians and residents.
A fierce debate took place during a Babergh District Council planning committee meeting over the homes which are planned for land south of Tamage Road, Acton.
Representatives from development company Bloor Homes defended its plans, which would see a range of one, two, three and four bed properties and a children's play park built on the land.
Graham Round, who spoke on behalf of Acton Parish Council, said the homes would result in the 'loss of valuable countryside' adding that the negatives of the application could 'not be off set by the benefits'.
Babergh district councillor for Long Melford John Nunn supported the parish, describing the plans as 'totally unacceptable' - citing the location of 35 affordable homes as a main frustration.
However, Bloor Homes Eastern planning director Robert Eburne said the company had taken care to ensure the design of the scheme 'sits well within the landscape' of the village.
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He said: 'The planning application is not a speculative development but is planned to sensitively respond to environmental constraints. It is also proposed in a sustainable way with PV solar panels proposed.'
The committee heard concerns over a further 100 other homes which have already been given planning permission in the village.
The combined increase in population from the two developments would enlarge Acton by a quarter.
More than 20 residents attended the meeting and highlighted a lack of spaces at the local primary school, a lack of availability at the local GP as well as highways problems as their main concerns.
John Purser, an Acton resident who has been involved in the campaign against the new homes for three years, said: 'I am disappointed with the decision.
'While houses have to be built - and we have no problem with that at all - we are already providing a site in Acton for 100 homes and we feel that we have done our bit.'
Council planning officers will now discuss the plans with Bloor Homes to try to find solutions to some of the issues raised by committee members.