New homes spark village anger

MORE than 50 objectors have lost their battle to stop a significant development of housing in their village.

Richard Smith

MORE than 50 objectors have lost their battle to stop a significant development of housing in their village.

Villagers in Ufford, near Woodbridge, are disappointed that Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) has in principle approved a plan to demolish a property in School Lane and replace it with seven homes.

The council's development control sub-committee visited the site and twice discussed the plans.

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David Chenery, chairman of Ufford Parish Council, said the decision to approve was unforgivable and unless substantially amended the development would seriously affect this part of the village.

Mr Chenery said: “Ufford's parish plan shows an overwhelming preference by the residents to maintain the quality of the village as it is. But SCDC planners have moved the goalposts and are being led by new government guidance that seeks 'to make the most efficient use of land' - in other words to overdevelop sites just to meet housing targets.''

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He said the new houses were in a cramped layout, they were out of keeping with their surroundings, they affected protected trees and there was a defective drainage scheme ''that could worsen local flooding to other dwellings.''

He added: ''Even in the light of substantial objections, SCDC felt they can still improve the layout but tinkering with the design will not undo the damage they have approved.''

Concerned villager Jane Hawthorne, of School Lane, said: ''We live in a beautiful part of a village where there are at present no street lights, pavements and in places insufficient space for a delivery van and a car to pass each other, leading to traffic using individual properties' passing spaces to progress along our lane.

''If seven houses are built on this site that is within a Special Landscape Area this will radically alter the lane scene and destroy forever the delightful scenery that has gradually developed over the last 100 years.''

The district council said the plans will be approved if the Environment Agency is satisfied on the issue of flooding. It said there is a revised layout to ''loosen up'' the development, a legal agreement to secure affordable homes, and there are various planning conditions to control the scheme.

A council spokesman said: ''Further negotiations with the applicants are required and further advice will be sought from the Environment Agency.

“Following considerable debate the sub-committee concluded that the principle of development was acceptable subject to resolution of the flooding issues and some modifications to the layout.”

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