Villagers lose homes plan battle
By David GreenA WARNING over the rate of development in rural communities was sounded as councillors gave the go-ahead to a controversial plan to demolish a luxury home and build 11 houses on the site.
By David Green
A WARNING over the rate of development in rural communities was sounded as councillors gave the go-ahead to a controversial plan to demolish a luxury home and build 11 houses on the site.
More than 100 villagers in Yaxley, near Eye, registered their opposition to the development, described by their spokesman as “dense and incongruous”.
They claimed the local sewage system was already overloaded, traffic problems would be caused and the village primary school would not be able to cope with the additional influx of children if the development went ahead.
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The plan, submitted by Doveland Developments, involves the demolition of a £350,000 house called St Brelades, built for wealthy businessman Roy Humphrey in 1976.
Eleven new homes are planned for the site, which extends to just over half-an-acre and is next to a cul-de-sac of 32 houses built during the past two years.
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Charles Michell, local district councillor, told yesterday's meeting of Mid Suffolk District Council's area planning committee that rural villages were growing so fast, many of them were losing their identity.
“We all have to live with change, but it ought not to be excessive,” he said.
Mr Michell claimed Yaxley - a community of only 175 homes - was growing too fast, too quickly.
He and other councillors expressed concern about the latest proposal, but agreed nothing could be done to prevent it going ahead as Government planning guidelines called for a higher density of development to take the pressure off the open countryside.
Norman Hudson, residents' spokesman, said they would be disappointed with the council's decision to approve the development. “We felt this dense and incongruous development should be rejected,” he added.
Mr Hudson said villagers were now fearful a further application would be made to build homes on a two-acre paddock at the back of St Brelades.
Gordon Terry, a consultant for Doveland Developments, said he had been surprised by the adverse reaction to the new scheme and felt the existing house was a “proliferate waste of space” in the centre of the village.
Mr Terry added the proposed development was attractive and he hoped it would win a Civic Trust award.