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‘Deeply disappointing’ news as 20 new homes given green light in rural village

PUBLISHED: 16:30 09 July 2020

20 new homes in Mendlesham have been granted outline planning permission. Picture: GOOGLE EARTH

20 new homes in Mendlesham have been granted outline planning permission. Picture: GOOGLE EARTH

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A housing development for a small village in Suffolk has been granted outline planning permission after being opposed by many residents.

Cllr Andrew Stringer has opposed the new homes in Chapel Road. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCllr Andrew Stringer has opposed the new homes in Chapel Road. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mid Suffolk District Council gave 20 new homes in Mendlesham the green light on Wednesday, July 8, on the land to the north east side of Chapel Road.

The development, due to include seven affordable homes and public footpath improvements, follows a previous proposal for 49 properties at the same location which was rejected by the council’s planning committee in October last year.

MORE: Plans for 49 homes in rural Suffolk village rejected by council

Councillors had felt the adverse impact significantly outweighed the benefits and the applicant changed their plans for fewer homes.

Andrew Stringer, councillor for the Upper Gipping ward, opposes the development and complained the council have disregarded the Neighbourhood Plan Group’s advice.

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“It is deeply disappointing the district council did not assess the impact this approval would have on the Emerging Neighbourhood Plan,” he said.

“This approval will make it more difficult to bring forward the numbers of homes the government is seeking, as the clearly laid out plans that the residents of Mendlesham had worked towards have been disregarded without those voting on this even seeing the proposals they have now put at risk.

“The sad fact is that many communities will now feel that working for years on a neighbourhood plan is not worth the effort when your proposals are so easily ignored.”

The planning committee voted by four to three in favour of approving the recommendation and councillors have paid tribute to the time and work the community put into their neighbourhood planning.

Kathie Guthrie, chair of Mid Suffolk District Council’s development committee B, said: “Our decision was not an easy one to reach as this was a finely balanced and complex application, met with some opposition from local residents.

“However, after much deliberation we believed it difficult to find legal grounds for refusal, provided the applicant meets the conditions set out today.”

She praised the efforts of the residents but advised that council decisions must be led by agreed plans and legal advice.

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