Protestors produce 1,000 flyers to raise opposition against Rushmere housing plans

The site of the proposed housing in Rushmere St Andrew

The site of the proposed housing in Rushmere St Andrew - Credit: Archant

Campaigners protesting against proposals to build homes on an area of “commemorative woodland” in east Suffolk are distributing 1,000 leaflets to households in the area to gain support.

The application for 14 homes at a site in Rushmere St Andrew, submitted last year on behalf of a consortium of charities, was refused unanimously by Suffolk Coastal District Council’s planning committee in December.

The committee listed numerous planning policies that it claimed the application breached, including those protecting the separation of Rushmere from Ipswich, its visual impact and the loss of recreational space.

An agency representing the applicants, has since appealed the decision to the Planning Inspectorate, which is accepting comments from interested parties until Thursday, April 30, after which the case will be dealt with by written representation.

Save Our Rushmere’s Rural Identity (SORRI), which campaigned against the initial application on the grounds it would harm the rural character of the site at land adjacent to 155 The Street, is now redoubling its opposition efforts.


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SORRI chairman Ron Spore said the group had produced 1,000 flyers for distributions to households in the village to raise awareness about the application and to give guidance on how to oppose it.

“The application was rejected twice by the parish council, it was then unanimously rejected by Suffolk Coastal’s planning committee, but not withstanding that the developers have now taken their appeal to the Secretary of State,” he added.

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“That is why we are again heightening awareness of the situation and encouraging those who have already lodged comments, and indeed others, to register their objections again.”

Barbara Robinson, who has been advising the group as a member of Save Our Country Spaces, said the development would have a “huge visual impact”.

“The village will just become part of the urban landscape and lose the rural character, which is what we’ve been fighting for,” she added.

Previous grounds for opposition also focused on claims that many of the trees on the site had been planted commemoratively in honour of the relatives of people living in the village and should therefore have been protected.

Witco, the company representing the charities that were left the land in a will, said it had “carried out a careful review of the refusal of planning permission”.

“Following this review, a decision has been taken to appeal this refusal to the Planning Inspectorate,” a spokesman said,

“ As was made clear in the original planning application, the proposed development meets a pressing need for housing in Suffolk, while at the same time makes every effort to protect both the landscape and environment of Rushmere St Andrew and its separation from Ipswich.

“This appeal is an important step in realising, with due care and prudence, Mrs Baldwin’s generous legacy to her charitable beneficiaries.”

Previous arboricultural surveys were said to have found “no evidence of the trees being commemorative”.

The campaigners have created a blog containing updated information on the campaign and related news stories.

A post made yesterday highlighted the problems with air pollution, which it linked with developments intruding in the countryside.

For more information visit sorrinews.blogspot.co.uk

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