Suffolk villagers' 'NO' to parish boundary change affecting their home

Kiln Lane, Benhall

The boundary change will result in the home in Kiln Lane being incorporated into the South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood development - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

Villagers fear they will have to pay more in council tax if their home of 26 years is incorporated into a neighbouring parish as part of proposed boundary changes to accommodate plans for 800 homes. 

East Suffolk Council is carrying out a consultation into plans to move the boundary between Saxmundham and Benhall, which will result in three homes in the village becoming part of the South Saxmundham Garden Neighbourhood development. 

The new estate, developed by Pigeon Investments, will be built on land between the A12 and B1121 and will include a new primary school, new employment space, a service station and a new roundabout off the A12 to access the proposed site. 

However, in a letter to East Suffolk Council, Shirley Baggott and Keith Adamson, who live in Kiln Lane South, Benhall, have spoken of their concerns they will have to pay higher rates of council tax to live in Saxmundham, despite receiving no services or using any amenities within the town. 

Ms Baggott said: “We have lived here for 26 years and love the countryside, the views and the wildlife. If we wanted to live in Saxmundham, we would, but we do not.” 

She feared the impact of pollution from the new houses on the River Fromus, with sewage plants in the area being unable to cope with all the waste produced by new housing developments. 

“We have our own septic tank and get no amenities from Saxmundham at all and with the cost of living rising, an emphatic ‘NO'.

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“We do not want the boundary to be moved to include us and our neighbours and have the privilege of paying more council tax for nothing, £74.87 more this year, rising every year. We are happy in Benhall, not in Saxmundham."

However, Saxmundham town councillor Di Eastman said prior to the proposed boundary change, 650 of the homes would have been in Benhall, threatening its status as a village, and the parish council is supporting the new boundary. 

She said: “It made so much more sense for all the 800 homes to be in Saxmundham.” 

A spokesman for East Suffolk Council said the council kept parish boundaries under review to ensure community cohesion and improve democracy and the parish and town councils had requested the boundary review. 

He added: “A consultation on the draft recommendations is open until 8 July, following which, there will be a period of time for the council to consider the comments received and undertake any necessary follow-up consultation before drafting the final recommendations, which will be considered by the full council at its meeting on 28 September.”