Decision made on 150 Brantham homes
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Developers behind speculative plans to build 150 homes on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have been criticised for failing to appear before planners.
Babergh District Council's planning committee unanimously refused Gladman Developments' bid for outline permission to build 150 homes west of Brantham Hill.
The proposals, which prompted 45 public objections as well as objections from the parish councils, AONB board and multiple departments at both Suffolk County Council and Babergh District Council, planned to knock down existing bungalows and outbuildings and develop the greenfield site.
Among the issues were the impact on the AONB, visibility issues on the planned road access, lack of information and proposal to develop land outside of the Brantham settlement boundary.
Councillor Lee Parker said: "It's very disappointing that an applicant that seeks to put 150 houses in our district against policy isn't here to represent or explain themselves. I think that's a very poor state of affairs."
He added that the reasons for refusal were so compelling as to stifle the need for any debate.
Councillor Alastair McCraw, ward member for the area, said: "This [application] falls into a criteria of more speculative outline ones we have seen during the period where we were unable to demonstrate a five year land supply."
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He pointed to objections from most of the consultees, and added: "This is undeveloped land and should remain so for many demonstrated reasons, land that makes Suffolk what it is and should remain a rural landscape with pockets of development only. We have room for both."
Earlier in the summer, the council's committee gave final approval for 288 homes on land to the south of the village which represents part of a wider regeneration project of the area.
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In its application, Gladman said: "The overall vision for the site is to provide a distinctive and high quality place, which complements the qualities and character of Brantham.
"The development will create up to 150 dwellings with a range of housing to meet the needs of the area, whilst respecting and enhancing the site's environmental assets.
A spokesman from Gladman has been approached for comment.