Village leaders' strong objections over café and store plans
- Credit: Landex
Community leaders are strongly objecting to plans to build a new convenience store, café and business units on the edge of a Suffolk village.
The proposals are awaiting a decision from East Suffolk Council, whose planning officers are still analysing the plans and drawing up a report.
Applicants Landex Limited want to create 60 to 100 jobs by demolishing the former Crown Nursery on High Street, Ufford, and replacing it with a new café, shop and 11 business units, and car parking for 116 cars.
But Ufford Parish Council "strongly objects" and does not believe there is a need for the development.
The site was for more than five decades wooded and rural and used for horticulture. Part has recently been developed with 34 homes and the latest plan would utilise another chunk of the site.
In its statement, the parish council disputes the need in Ufford for such development.
It says: "As we have seen, there are many business units within a few miles radius of Ufford, unoccupied, and in more sustainable locations with better transport links, and nearer to other facilities. The site chosen in Ufford is not a suitable location for eleven office-based business units.
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"With greater emphasis on working-from-home, the need for this kind of development is at best unproven.
"Ufford used to have a village shop on the high street and another in Lower Ufford with a Post Office. Despite a gradually increasing population in the village, the stores could not survive commercially. Following their demise another attempt was made to run a village shop and that also failed."
The council says the development is against policy for building in the countryside, and is also concerned at the traffic it could generate.
Artisan Planning and Development, for Landex, said the aim was to reuse employment land for uses which will happily co-exist with residential properties and in rural areas.
It said: "In addition, a café and convenience shop are proposed which will bring with them other forms of employment as well as a significant contribution to social interaction and health and well-being in the village and wider area.
"Whilst the submission scheme will no doubt not be supported by everybody, the applicant
believes that it will make a genuine contribution to the viability and vitality of this village and
bring with it a wide range of sustainable community and environmental benefits."