Villagers concerns over possible plans for Shottisham pub field

The Sorrel Horse pub in Shottisham Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The Sorrel Horse pub in Shottisham Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

Concerns have been raised about the possibility of new housing close to a village pub in east Suffolk.

Villagers living in Shottisham near Woodbridge are concerned about possible plans to put houses on land close to The Sorrel Horse pub.

The pub and field is owned by The Sorrel Horse Shottisham, a limited company with over 225 shareholders.

The freehold for the pub was purchased in 2011 for £450,000 after residents became concerned about the land being sold for housing.

At the time the concerned villagers say that the land would eventually be used by the community and that no further application would be put in for housing.

However, they are now concerned that such plans could be back on the cards.

The land is mentioned in the most recent draft of Suffolk Coastal’s draft local plan with the allocation having been carried over from a previous plan in January 2017.

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The plan describes an allocation of 10 new homes and a car park holding 30 spaces.

A survey carried out by the parish council in 2015 found a need for affordable housing and smaller homes in the village to help both young people and those wishing to down-size to stay in the village.

The concerned villagers now believe that the board of directors is actively looking into selling the land for housing.

“We bought that land to save it being built on and keep it as a community common amenity area in the village,” said one resident, “What is ironic is that the village, eight years later, is fighting to save the same field.”

An open meeting was held in September between villagers and shareholders to discuss the land with discussions also being held during a recent meeting of the Parish Council.

During the council meeting calls were made for a referendum to be held in the village on the question: “Would you like the proposed allocation for approximately 10 houses and 30 car park spaces on land opposite the Sorrel Horse to be removed Yes/No?”

The meeting’s minutes note that “Councillors decided not to object to the planning allocation” but instead requested it be known that the council had received a petition signed by 63 concerned residents who wanted the allocation to be removed.

The petition has now been signed by 85 people from Shottisham: which the concerned residents say is “a clear majority” of the village electoral roll of around 135.

A further meeting has been set up by the concerned members of the public on Saturday with both villagers and shareholders invited to discuss the options for the land.

William Mcmullan, the director of the board at the pub said the company are still considering their options.

“The Board of SHS Ltd held an open meeting for villagers and shareholders in September,” said Mr Mcmullan.

“Possible options for the future of the land will be circulated to shareholders for their views and preferences

“The results will be presented at the company’s AGM in November.

“Until that time the Board will not be making any further comment.”

The new village meeting will take place in the church at 10am on Saturday October 6.

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