Great Cornard: Gainsborough landscape ‘not the right place’ for 166 new homes


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A revised planning application that could see 166 new homes built on a landscape made famous by artist Thomas Gainsborough should be rejected, according to local parish councillors.

The original plans by Persimmon Homes to build 170 properties in Carsons Drive, Great Cornard, were turned down last year by Babergh councillors, who described the proposed buildings as “insensitive” and “like a prison camp”.

A planning inspector subsequently threw out the application following an appeal in November.

A revised scheme for the land, which is believed to feature in the painting Cornard Woods by Thomas Gainsborough, has recently been submitted to the district authority. But members of Great Cornard’s planning committee do not believe enough has been changed to make the proposed development acceptable.

The controversial scheme is due to be discussed again at a meeting this Friday.

In a document sent to Babergh officers, the parish laid out its renewed concerns about the impact the development could have on the 13th Century Grade I-listed Abbas Hall, the surrounding area and roads.

The letter read: “Apart from the removal of two plots, to which the appeal inspector drew particular attention, it is hard to see how his concerns regarding sense of place and setting have been addressed in this new application.

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“Whilst the development will provide some affordable housing, this is not particular to this site and could be provided by development of any site.”

The parish councillors also believe the new application ignores the detrimental effect traffic from the development using the narrow C732 road through Cornard Tye as a ‘rat run’ to the A134 could have on the local community. In addition, there are continued concerns about the design and layout, with fears that placing parking and garages in blocks away from the houses could attract anti-social behaviour.

Martin Davidson, land director at Persimmon Homes Anglia, said while the government inspector had dismissed the company’s appeal, he had “emphatically confirmed the site’s suitability to be allocated for housing purposes”.