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Compromise over village green dispute

PUBLISHED: 07:18 21 February 2008 | UPDATED: 18:40 10 March 2010

Kieran Palmer and father Ken fighting to save the access from the village green to their Haughley family bakery.

Kieran Palmer and father Ken fighting to save the access from the village green to their Haughley family bakery.

A FAMILY which has been in dispute with parish councillors over access to the bakery they run on a picturesque village green is hoping the matter has been resolved.

A FAMILY which has been in dispute with parish councillors over access to the bakery they run on a picturesque village green is hoping the matter has been resolved.

A working party was established to thrash out the issue over access to the historic Palmers Bakery, in Haughley, near Stowmarket.

Keiron Palmer, who runs the business with his dad, Ken, has been locked in a legal dispute with the parish council for months.

The council wants to limit the size of lorries which drive over the village green to deliver to the business, but the family firm is worried this move could bring problems.

More than 8,000 people signed a petition backing them and hundreds attended a meeting last month to discuss the problem.

Now, after a heated parish council meeting attended by more than 80 people on Tuesday evening, councillors have agreed to acknowledge the business and its suppliers' right of way across the green.

In return Palmers will enter into a formal agreement with the authority to maintain the trackway they use across the land.

Keiron Palmer said: “This sounds promising and is definitely a step forward, although it is all subject to legal confirmation. We should hear within a few weeks, it is not entirely closed just yet.”

His father said he was relieved that the authority had moved to resolve the matter, and had listened.

Lord of the Manor Jeffrey Bowden, who is also a parish councillor, had felt that there were other solutions and had questioned what was wrong with lorries off-loading in the road.

He believed there were many options which could have helped ease the situation, including closing the road outside the bakery to through traffic and paving it, in effect creating a large lay-by for the bakery, the Counting House restaurant and the people who live there.

But John Prigg, a parish councillor for 35 years and former chairman, said: “This is a good resolution and will mean the Palmers can carry on as they are, in peace. We are only talking about two trucks a week.

“The parish council should be doing all it can to support its village bakery.”

The bakery has been run by the same family since 1869, when it was bought by William James Palmer. It now employs 18 people in the village and more than 50 within the firm with shops across Suffolk.

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