Bildeston: Concern in picturesque village over future housing proposals

Villagers in Bildeston are concerned by development plans

Villagers in Bildeston are concerned by development plans - Credit: Archant

People living in a picture postcard Suffolk village are worried future housing developments could damage the village’s character – despite no formal planning applications having been made.

Concerns were raised in Bildeston after a potential project was presented to a meeting of the parish council by Clive Arthey, a director of the company which runs Church Farm to the west of the village.

He is also a member of Babergh District Council.

The site in question is understood to be around eight hectares, and residents claim the proposal could include up to 80 homes – although Mr Arthey says there are is no specific application at this point.

Resident Jocelyn Targett said after this became public knowledge through minutes of the meeting there was “a lot of anxiety” in the village.

“Quite a large number of us were alarmed and went to the next meeting of the parish council,” Mr Targett said.

“What we want is proportional development that retains the character of the village.”

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He added plans had been put up in a local shop showing what could be included in the development and that a Facebook page called Keep Bildeston Beautiful had been set so people could express their concerns about them.

Asked if he thought this was jumping the gun, Mr Targett said: “The gun was fired by him (Mr Arthey) talking to the parish council and putting up a map of the development.”

Mr Arthey said the development was just an idea and no planning application had been made.

“I believe that if Bildeston is to grow it should be in a way that meets the employment, recreation and housing needs of the community, whilst also seeking to preserve the historic core of the village,” he said.

“The area of land to the west of the village is one idea being floated; I understand there are others.

“It is encouraging that so many in the community want to engage in the process and discuss Bildeston’s future.”

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