Cheers from villagers as planning committee refuses plans for 295 home development in Debenham
PUBLISHED: 15:38 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:53 19 December 2018
Controversial plans for a 295 home development in Debenham has been refused by a district council planning committee – to a round of applause from residents.
The outline application, from Taylor Wimpey Homes, proposed building hundreds of houses on land to the north of Gracechurch Street.
But the scheme was refused by Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning committee on the grounds it would represent “unacceptable harm” due to the scale of the proposal.
It was also turned down over the perceived impact it would have on highly valued views over the Deben Valley.
Around 70 members of the public attended the meeting at Endeavour House in Ipswich yesterday.
Debenham Parish Chairman Steve Palframan called the decision a “victory for democracy”.
He said: “It is a huge relief. The village itself has been really concerned over this application, demonstrated by the number of people cheering when the decision was made.
“I am really pleased with the democratic process and the number of people who spoke so eloquently about the proposal.
“It is great news for the village and great news for democracy.”
The planning application had frustrated those in the parish council as they claimed it went against the village’s neighbourhood plan – which they had spent six years putting together.
This is due to go to a referendum for final approval in the new year.
During the long debate, concerns were raised over flooding in the area, increased traffic the development may create and conflict between the Neighbourhood Plan and the application.
Kathie Guthrie, Mid Suffolk District Council member for Debenham, said: “I have worked tirelessly with both the community and parish council, and in the background for over a year and a half now, with the Debenham Neighbourhood Plan nearing its conclusion, I think the decision of the committee is only right and proper.”
Matthew Hicks, chairman of Mid Suffolk’s Development Control Committee A, which made the decision, said: “Debenham is a key village within Mid Suffolk, offering schools, services and shops, however the 295 new homes proposed would represent a considerable increase in size.
“While were some real benefits from the proposed development, including increased early years care in the village and more affordable homes, ultimately the committee felt unable to grant planning permission.
“This decision was reached due to the unacceptable impact of the development on the Highly Valued Views across the Deben Valley, recognised in Debenham’s emerging Neighbourhood Plan, and the disproportionate scale of this development in a small village.”
A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said they were disappointed with the committee’s decision and were considering their next steps.
“We remain confident that our proposal is a high-quality one which will not only deliver much-needed new homes, including affordable housing, to the local area, but will also deliver community and environmental benefits,” the spokesman said.
“We will now review the decision in detail as we consider our future options for this site.”