Bedfield: Woman’s fight against Mid Suffolk to build bungalow

A WOMAN is fighting a district council to allow her to build a bungalow after she was refused permission because her land is said to be in a ‘visually important open space’.

Alma Boulton, 78, of Long Green, Bedfield, near Debenham, has got 75 people to sign a petition backing her in her bid to build a bungalow on her land.

Mid Suffolk District Council declined her planning application because the plot of land is said to be a ‘heritage asset’.

But a Heritage Statement supported Mrs Boulton as it said the bungalow would ‘preserve the overall important historic and visual character and appearance of the Long Green area’.

In a Mid Suffolk full council meeting last week, Mrs Boulton said: “We were never informed of the council’s decision and our parish council at the time didn’t realise the consequence to us of this.

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“None of the minutes of any parish council meeting can be found, only a short note written in 1992 from a very young parish clerk, at the time, to say it had been agreed.

“We have approached all our neighbours and many others in the village, including our present parish council.

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“No one can understand how we can have been classed a visually important open space, when no other property is included.

“We therefore believe it should be removed as it should never have been included in the first place.”

But in the letter which declined Mrs Boulton’s appeal against Mid Suffolk’s planning decision it says an area of land on the opposite side of the road in Long Green is also classed as a visually important open space. Mrs Boulton and her husband Rex, 80, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, want to move into their new bungalow to downsize from their existing one-storey home which is built on the same 1.3acres of land.

Speaking at the meeting Bedfield’s district councillor, Matthew Hicks, said it was an “unjust situation” and he urged Mid Suffolk to review its local planning framework.

The council chamber heard how it can only begin working on the local plans when the Core Strategy and Stowmarket Area Action Plan planning documents have been adopted.

In the meeting the council voted in favour of reviewing their visually important open spaces policy as part of their local planning framework.

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