Campaigners fighting housing plans prepare for next battle with developer

SOS protesters in Long Melford earlier this year Picture: CONTRIBUTED

SOS protesters in Long Melford earlier this year Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Campaigners fighting plans for 150 new homes in a Suffolk village are preparing for the battle to continue after the developer lodged an appeal.

The SOS (Save our Skylark Fields) campaign was launched earlier this year to oppose plans to build the homes on land off Station Road in Long Melford.

The controversial development has faced much opposition from the community and the parish council, with residents citing infrastructure issues and lack of need.

Babergh District Council’s planning committee will decide on the application on December 12.

But developers Gladman lodged an appeal with the secretary of state for housing on the basis that Babergh District Council has gone over the stated timeframe for the application.

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This means that even if Babergh rejects the application, the battle could continue.

Lisa Tipper, SOS campaign chairman, says the group is continuing to fundraise for legal costs to fight the developer.

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“It is no surprise really as Gladman like to go to appeal one way or another,” she said.

“We sincerely hope the hearing will be rejected by Babergh but that could still mean we have an appeal to fight next summer, it usually takes about 45 to 50 weeks from when the request is granted.

“The SOS group have already raised more than £5,000 but we need a lot more to fight Gladman.

“We are delighted that the parish council have put forward a further objection on behalf of the Neighbourhood Plan team which shows, with evidence-based fact, there is absence of need for a development of this size or in this particular part of Long Melford.”

The village has completed the first draft of its neighbourhood plan, which is expected to go a referendum in the summer.

Mrs Tipper added that the 2019 Long Melford photographic calendars, which have been produced in support of the campaign, are on sale.

“We need to carry on with the fundraising and the best way to contribute to that is by buying the 2019 Long Melford photographic calendars,” she said.

The calendars are on sale for £5 each at the following locations in Long Melford – Bull Hotel reception, Looking Good Feeling Better hair salon, Budgens, Long Melford Osteopaths, Lady Jane shop, parish council offices and The Working Man’s Club.

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