Campaigners step up homes fight

By Patrick LowmanAN MP and councillors have backed campaigners who are opposing a multi-million-pound housing scheme that will change the face of a village.

By Patrick Lowman

AN MP and councillors have backed campaigners who are opposing a multi-million-pound housing scheme that will change the face of a village.

Members of the Cornard Action Group are fighting plans to relocate Sudbury Rugby Club and build more than 300 homes on the vacated land off Bures Road in Great Cornard.

More than 100 concerned residents turned out for an extraordinary meeting called by Great Cornard Parish Council to discuss the plan, submitted to Babergh District Council by Persimmon Homes.

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Councillors voted unanimously to oppose the scheme on a number of grounds, including fears the layout of the development would create a "ghetto area".

They were also concerned the village did not have the infrastructure or road network to cope with the development and were worried about the risk of flooding in the area and the ecological impact of the proposal.

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Parish councillor, Wil Gibson, said: "I am very concerned about the impact this development would have on our road system and the rat-run it would cause through Rugby Road.

"They are also planning to put all the social housing in one area and we fear this could create a ghetto and we think they should be spread out over the development."

Tim Yeo, the Conservative MP for South Suffolk, has also backed the campaigners opposing the plan.

He said: "I support the objection of the action group as the proposed development is too large for the area. I hope that the outcome of the meeting will put out a strong message to planners about why this scheme should be blocked."

As part £15million project, Sudbury Rugby Club would move 400 yards away to a 40-acre site in Blackhouse Lane, where a new clubhouse, pitches, car park and an all-weather training area will be established.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes said the plan included 107 affordable homes and 66 one or two-bedroom houses to reflect local need.

He added the other 133 homes would be three, four and five-bedroom properties and the development would also include play areas, strategic landscaping and four acres of public open space.

Cornard Action Group chairman, Mick Scott, said: "We are pleased with the response of the parish council and the continued support of Tim Yeo. The message to the planners is that they should think again and that Babergh should throw these plans out."

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