Victory for campaigners over homes bid in historic Easton
- Credit: Archant
Villagers have won their fight to prevent new homes being built in the historic heart of their community – after councillors rejected their officers’ expert advice.
Suffolk Coastal councillors had been recommended by planners to approve the scheme for ten open market homes and four affordable properties in The Street, Easton.
The project would also have included garages, access road, parking, and a 35-space school car park and drop-off zone, and an extension to school grounds, for Easton Primary School.
However, councillors refused the application because it was contrary to policy, and would cause “substantial harm” to the village’s Conservation Area and the impact on nearby listed buildings would not be outweighed by the benefits it would bring.
Sue Piggott, representing many of the 44 objectors to the project, said: “The unanimous rejection is a fantastic result. All our hard work paid off.
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“We were there with our hearts in our mouths because the officer had recommended approval.
“It was extremely welcome to hear that the committee considered that adhering to the planning policies that are in place took precedence in their decision-making, and that the lack of real benefit that the proposal could deliver could not in any way outweigh the harm that it would have caused.”
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She said there was no evidence the community was seeking the proposed school car park, for which maintenance, safety lighting and insurances must be funded, nor the footpath, and “the benefits of this development, barely exist”.
English Heritage also expressed deep concern over the impact on the village’s Conservation Area.
Developers Hopkins and Moore had withdrawn a previous application after objections, but said the latest revised plans had tried to overcome a range of concerns raised by residents.
Suffolk Coastal planning case officer Ben Woolnough said the land had been identified as a preferred housing site, was considered to be in a sustainable location, would support additional housing growth to meet the five-year land supply, and was not considered to cause substantial harm to heritage assets and the setting of the Conservation Area.