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'Residents deserve better than this' - Suffolk housing developer accused of showing 'total disregard' for planning process

PUBLISHED: 10:59 28 March 2018 | UPDATED: 22:35 28 March 2018

Persimmon Homes Mount Pleasant development in Framlingham has faced criticism. Picture: ANDREW HIRST

Persimmon Homes Mount Pleasant development in Framlingham has faced criticism. Picture: ANDREW HIRST

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Suffolk planning chiefs have been accused of allowing developers to flout regulations - leaving communities to suffer.

Framlingham town councillor David Beal said Persimmon Homes’ development in Mount Pleasant is “totally out of hand”.

Writing to Suffolk Coastal District Council’s head of planning, Philip Ridley, he said it showed “total disregard” for the planning process.

SCDC insists it takes planning allegations seriously. Persimmon said any changes to the proposals had been agreed.

The developer’s 95-home scheme has provoked opposition ever since discussions began in 2015.

Framlingham Residents’ Association (FRAm), of which Mr Beal was a member before joining the council, opposed the application, as well as Taylor Wimpey’s proposals for 163 new homes in Fairfield Road.

Persimmon’s initial application, for more homes, had been refused by SCDC - but a revised application for fewer homes and added conditions was approved.

Since work began, Persimmon has faced further criticism. It was threatened with being ordered to stop work in 2016 after starting before agreeing conditions.

Mr Beal claims Persimmon has continued to breach conditions, building homes in the wrong position and design. He claims homes were occupied before all road improvements were finished, in a “dangerous” breach of conditions. He said other changes had been “hidden” in plans and not mentioned in applications.

Mr Beal called on SCDC to take reports of breaches seriously.

“I am writing to you to highlight the scale of the shortcomings,” he said. “Residents of Framlingham deserve better than this.”

A spokesman for SCDC said: “Suffolk Coastal District Council takes all allegations of developers abusing the planning process or beaching the conditions of their planning permission seriously. We will investigate this situation fully and respond to the complainant, once we have had the opportunity to ascertain the full facts of the situation.”

A Persimmon Homes Suffolk spokesman said: “Persimmon Homes are working proactively with both SCDC and Suffolk County Council to address outstanding obligations on the site at Framlingham.

“Extensive topographical survey work has been undertaken to confirm plots are set out correctly and built in accordance with approved plans.

“Whilst Persimmon do use a core house type range, the elevations are adjusted to suit the regional requirements. Construction is now aligned with comments received through discussion with the council.

“Work is being implemented as a priority in land within Persimmon’s control, in discussion with the Local Highways Authority.

“Any changes to the proposals have been discussed with the council, advertised and consulted with the public following the formal statutory procedure. “

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