Suffolk Coastal Local Plan proposals sparks village anger
PUBLISHED: 07:30 23 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:16 23 February 2019
Residents in a Suffolk village have voiced their anger at a shock inclusion of a proposed development in a final draft a local plan.
The proposed development on Chapel Road, Grundisburgh, could see the construction of 70 new houses, which villagers say would be unsafe and unncessary.
One villager labelled the plans as ‘totally crazy’ and ‘beyond a joke’.
Villagers have claimed that the proposed development appeared in the Local Plan without adequate public consultation, after a previous proposal for 56 new houses west of Ipswich Road was scrapped from the Local Plan first draft in July last year following village objections.
Villagers now claim that they are unable to challenge the council directly due to time constraints as it has reached the final draft stage.
The plan itself highlights some of the villagers concerns, including a lack of secondary school places in the area and that the land is identified as a flood zone. Previous applications on the site have been rejected.
Parish planning committee member Ann Willetts said: “All the roads around it are single track, with no footpaths. It simply isn’t safe.
“We already have a very well balanced housing stock. There have been 45 new homes built in the last 10 years anyway.
“Of course we’re angry. There was no hierarchy or process, nothing was said. They’ve given us as villagers no time to adequately voice our concerns.”
Tony Fryatt, planning committee member for Suffolk Coastal District Council, said: “What people need to remember is that this is not a planing application. A lot of people don’t appreciate the government process we are going through.”
As part of the National Planning Policy Framework, local plans are examined by the government to assess whether they are ‘sound’, which will be the next stage in the planning process.
An information leaflet issued by the council says: “Representations at this stage should only be made in relation to the legal compliance and the soundness of the Final Draft Local Plan.”
Mr Fryatt added that villagers had their chance to voice other concerns at an earlier meeting in January.
“That time has passed now, though. If they don’t think they’ve had enough time for public consultation then that will be raised by the government inspectorate.” he said.