Brantham: Plans to build 600 new homes at former industrial site ignite concerns over future of village
Controversial proposals to build 600 new homes around a former industrial site have sparked fears in a Suffolk village.
Planning chiefs at Babergh District Council are considering altering their building blueprint after landowners St Francis Group lodged plans to redevelop the former Wardle Storeys site in Brantham.
It is understood the group, which bought the 99 acre (40 hectare) land in 2007, wants to develop the land to allow 300 homes to be built on both brownfield and greenfield sites.
But plans to build 300 new homes on the agricultural land between the factory site and the village have drawn fierce criticism.
When the proposals were put under the spotlight at a Brantham Parish Council public meeting last week, a show of hands revealed residents were unanimously against the large-scale development.
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Trevor Nobbs, vice chairman of Brantham Parish Council, warned the scheme would have a “massive impact” on the village.
“I can’t see any justification for building 300 new homes on the greenfield site – that would effectively destroy the village,” he said.
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Simon Barrett, councillor for economic development at Babergh District Council, said Brantham was in a “great position to absorb” the impact of 600 new homes – which he described as “sustainable”.
“We don’t want another 20 years of an eyesore,” he added. “The site has been derelict for some time and the reality is we have to compromise. They are looking at the greenfield area, which is on the cards.
“It needs to be sensible in proportion and everything has got to be consulted, but you can’t just sit there and say you just don’t want it. In the next 20 years Babergh has got to build 5,000 homes. They have got to go somewhere – where are people going to live?”
A St Francis Group spokesman said: “We are working through scenarios at present – which will take a few months – and when that work finishes we should be in a position to have concrete proposals to talk about.”