‘They will destroy our communities’ - last-minute attempt to block 220 homes development
PUBLISHED: 16:07 06 March 2020
A community leader has appealed to planning authorities in a last-ditch attempt to prevent a large housing development being approved due to fears over second home ownership.
Chantwell Industries and WM Denny and Sons, who own land off Copperwheat Avenue in Reydon, are expected to receive planning permission for their proposal to build 220 homes next Tuesday.
They say the development will have "limited impact on the character of the area" and comprise of 40% affordable homes.
They also say they have satisfied concerns raised about drainage, with East Suffolk Council officers recommending that the scheme be given the go-ahead.
But David Beavan, district councillor for Reydon, has written to the authority urging planners to consider concerns that the new builds will be marketed as second, holiday homes.
He said Reydon Parish Council's new neighbourhood plan, which could come into force soon, aims to prevent new housing developments being unoccupied for large parts of the year.
Mr Beavan said: "There is great concern in my ward that the Copperwheat development will negate our neighbourhood plan that goes to referendum this year.
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"We are fighting the tide of second homes which we fear will destroy our communities.
"I was initially in favour of this project, agreeing with the local plan that we need to sacrifice some countryside to build homes for local people.
"We should respect the wishes of local people clearly expressed through their neighbourhood plan - otherwise we are fomenting a divided society, and eventually a loss of our community."
The Suffolk coast is extremely popular for holiday homes, with 60% of property in the resort of Southwold unoccupied at times throughout the year.
Mr Beavan said the number of holiday homes in Reydon had doubled to 30% in the last ten years.
The Copperwheat Avenue scheme has not been entirely welcomed by the Reydon community, with many residents arguing the village would be overdeveloped and the surrounding area spoiled.
Reydon Action Group for the Environment is also opposed to the proposed development due to environmental concerns.