Repeat attempt to build controversial homes and stores not welcomed by residents
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
Residents in a Suffolk village remain firmly opposed to controversial plans for a homes and retail scheme after the developers submitted a repeat application.
FPC Rendlesham had its initial attempt to build 11 homes and three stores on the site of the former Angel Theatre in Rendlesham blocked by planners in December, but launched a fresh bid at the start of March.
The developers say they have taken on board feedback from the original plans for their resubmission, arguing the revised proposals meet the need of the village.
But the new application has been met with backlash by residents, who continue to oppose the development chiefly due to the presence of a Costcutter store in Rendlesham, which they say caters for their needs.
Graham Allen said: “The current shop is doing a fantastic job for Rendlesham and another convenience store in such a small area seems unlikely to make both businesses sustainable.
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“A small development with smaller business units, for shops that would be useful to the community, would be more in keeping with the character of the village.”
Imogen Cundy added: “The current owners are doing a fantastic job running a village shop to an outstanding level.
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“Another shop would have a devastating effect for the current shop owners.
“The shop has everything that you need and there is not any room for competition in the small local community.
“The need in Rendlesham is for recreational facilities. Social facilities are a must in a community that grew very quickly.”
Ziyad Mohammed, co-owner of the Costcutter store in Rendlesham, said he feared for his business’ future if a new store was approved.
He said previously: “A better choice would be something else for the village, like a sports centre.”
However, Ben Sheppard, of FPC Rendlesham, said the plans had been revised after initally being blocked due to flooding and highways concerns.
He said: “In common with the previous application, the new application meets the criteria of a number of local and national planning policies.
“But in addition to that, we listened to the objections behind the previous scheme.
“We’ve now ensured that the housing mix in the new scheme reflects the preferred mix stated in that decision notice.”