Up to 400 homes for Suffolk village

MULTI-million pound development plans that could see up to 400 homes built and a rugby club relocated to new facilities could get the go-ahead this week.

MULTI-million pound development plans that could see up to 400 homes built and a rugby club relocated to new facilities could get the go-ahead this week.

Babergh District Council is set to make a decision on two massive and controversial housing schemes that could permanently change the face of Great Cornard.

Plans to build 308 homes off Rugby Road and a further 90 at the Cornard Mills site have been the source of controversy in recent years.

Despite strong public opposition to the developments, both look likely to be given the green light when they go before Babergh's development committee on Wednesday.


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Persimmon Homes want to relocate Sudbury Rugby Club to new facilities at Blackhouse Lane and use land that will be vacated off Rugby Road to build 308 new homes.

The £18milliom scheme would provide one, two, three and four bedroom homes, 107 of which would be affordable units. The move would allow the Rugby club to build a new clubhouse, two new pitches and possibly an all-weather pitch.

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Both Great Cornard Parish Council and the Cornard Action Group have spent the last four years fighting the plans.

They fear the scheme would generate too much traffic in the area and would create rat-runs through the village. Many residents also raised concerns about the layout of affordable homes within the development, claiming it would create a "ghetto" area.

Other opponents have raised concerns over flood plain problems and damage to wildlife habitats.

Great Cornard parish councillor Tony Bavington said: "I have always been opposed to this development. My first concern is that if the development has its access off Rugby Road and creates a rat-run."

Despite the objections, Babergh planning officers back the scheme.

A report to go before the development committee says: "The Local Plan identifies Sudbury and Great Cornard as a town which is considered a suitable location for additional housing development.

"There is now more dispersal within in the scheme in order to allow better integration of all the different forms of housing. As such the proposal is considered entirely acceptable in terms of affordable housing provision, and the scheme satisfactorily meets housing need."

Councillors will also be asked on Wednesdayto back plans to convert the Nestle Purina pet food factory at the Cornard Mills site into 90 new homes.

The company is seeking permission to go ahead with the scheme, as the factory is surplus to requirements since it moved its production to its Sudbury site.

Babergh's development committee rejected the proposal last year, on the grounds the job opportunities would be lost, but is now being recommended for approval.

Planning officer Martin Price said: "The application represents a significant opportunity for major environmental enhancement, together with opportunities for urban regeneration. These proposals should be supported."

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