Long Melford: Residents unhappy over 51 homes bid

RESIDENTS have hit out at proposals to build a housing development on the site of a closed-down factory in one of Suffolk’s most picturesque villages.

Building firm David Wilson Homes has submitted plans for 51 houses to be built on a site formerly owned by Fleetwood Caravans, in Long Melford.

The firm stopped trading in 2009 with the lost of around 80 jobs.

Opponents of the current plans, which were revised following consultation in April, say the development flies in the face of the Parish Plan produced in 2006, which listed traffic reduction, improved car parking facilities and more local jobs as priorities.

Vivian Woodward, who together with a number of fellow Long Melford residents has formed the Fleetwood Caravan Neighbourhood Group, said: “We are not against part of the land being used for housing but we would like to see the other issues addressed and the proposed density of the housing reduced.

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“Some 300 traffic movements a day, into and out of a narrow access, can be expected as a direct result of this development – this strongly indicates that the proposed housing density is far too high.”

According to Don Watson, chairman of the Long Melford Parish Plan steering group, residents have written to Babergh District Council about these concerns but have not heard back.

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He said: “The Government is trying to encourage local participation but the views of residents and businesses and of the Parish Plan don’t seem to be important to our district council. They should have the courtesy to take notice and reply.”

The application is due to be discussed when the planning committee for Long Melford’s Parish Council meet on Tuesday.

A Babergh spokesperson said the district council intended to start its consultation after this meeting and that it would “consider any comments made about material planning issues relating to the application”.

A representative from David Wilson Homes is expected to attend.

The company’s planning manager, Peter Biggs, said: “We welcome the opportunity to discuss any revised plans and potential issues with local residents and other interested parties.

“As a local house-builder, we always make every effort to consult with and consider the views of local residents and stakeholders when submitting plans for new homes.”

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