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Elation as controversial 300 homes bid is rejected

PUBLISHED: 18:38 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 18:38 24 July 2018

Kesgrave Town Council chairman Neal Beecroft-Smith Picture: KESGRAVE TOWN COUNCIL

Kesgrave Town Council chairman Neal Beecroft-Smith Picture: KESGRAVE TOWN COUNCIL

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A community leader has spoken of his relief at how a controversial vision for 300 new homes has been rejected.

The land at Bell Lane, Kesgrave, which has been the subject of wrangling for 300 homes for the past two years Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe land at Bell Lane, Kesgrave, which has been the subject of wrangling for 300 homes for the past two years Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Neal Beecroft-Smith, chairman of Kesgrave Town Council, spoke out after two years of wrangling at the site at Bell Lane, Kesgrave came to an end on Friday, when the planning inspectorate threw out the case.

Suffolk Coastal District Council’s planning committee refused plans by developers Persimmon and BTP to build on the land.

However the developers launched an appeal against the decision but this was dismissed after a planning inquiry last year.

A second planning inquiry was held in June after the High Court upheld a legal challenge into the way that the original inquiry had reached a decision.

On Friday, planning inspector John Murray issued a decision to dismiss this latest appeal, meaning that the plans have now been refused.

Mr Beecroft-Smith said: “We are relieved and elated that we have got the decision we wanted to come through.

“It’s a fantastic decision. It’s the decision that we always wanted.”

Mr Beecroft-Smith said he was thankful for the work done by the town and district councils in relation to the plans.

In particular he thanked Jane Codie and Sue Hall for their work.

In his decision, Mr Murray said that the application did not meet the development plan and that although it would have been integrated with the rest of the town, it was on land considered countryside.

Mr Murray’s report said that the district had a housing supply of seven years.

The recent draft local plan for Suffolk Coastal only earmarked a further 20 homes for Kesgrave over the 20-year period.

Mr Beecroft-Smith hopes that this latest decision from the Planning Inspectorate will mark an end to the debates over the area of land.

“We hope the decision that this is protected land means that we wont get any further application from anyone else,” added Mr Beecroft-Smith.

Persimmon Homes was contacted regarding the decision but said it was unable to comment at this time, as it is reviewing the situation.

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