Plans for all-year housing at caravan site blocked by council

East Suffolk Council argued that little work had been carried out at the site Picture: JUDI HALLETT

East Suffolk Council argued that little work had been carried out at the site Picture: JUDI HALLETT - Credit: Archant

Villagers are celebrating after plans to have people living on a caravan site all year round were rejected.

The location in Ufford where the caravans were due to go Picture: JUDI HALLETT

The location in Ufford where the caravans were due to go Picture: JUDI HALLETT - Credit: Archant

Permission for the caravan site at Old Stables in Ufford had initially been granted in March 2016 by the-then Suffolk Coastal District Council.

However, developers put in a further planning application in December, asking for confirmation as to whether people would be permitted to live on the site all year round.

No restriction on the time residents could live on the site was given in the original planning permission.

Residents living in the village were concerned by the new application saying that this would be "housing via the back door".

Residents were concerned about the future of the caravan site Picture: JUDI HALLETT

Residents were concerned about the future of the caravan site Picture: JUDI HALLETT - Credit: Archant

The application received 66 comments of objection on the planning authority's website, including from Suffolk Coastal MP, Therese Coffey, who urged the council to refuse the application, describing the site as "sensitive".

East Suffolk Council reviewed the plans and raised concerns that little work had been carried out on the site since planning permission was granted three years ago.

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Under planning regulations, work on such developments must begin within three years of permission being given.

However, the council decided that the "minimal works" that had been carried out at the site, which included the removal of vegetation, could have been carried out without planning permission.

It added that the site remained "undeveloped" with no building works having been completed, meaning the planning permission had now lapsed.

"The Council does not consider that the development had commenced prior to the expiry of the permission on October 12 2019," read the report.

"The application is therefore refused."

A spokesman for Ufford Parish Council said: "Ufford Parish Council fully support the decision made by East Suffolk Council (ESC), in that the small amount of work carried out to the entrance of the Caravan Site off Old Bredfield Road was not sufficient to constitute a start to the project, within the three year timescale as set by the applications conditions. As a consequence we are glad that the planning authority has deemed the original application to have lapsed, and therefore the application for a Certificate of Lawful Development is void, and refused.

"We would like to thank the many Ufford residents who took the time to write in to ESC with reference to the original and subsequent applications connected to this site and we look forward to keeping them informed of any future developments."

The developers were contacted for comment.

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