Yoxford: Villagers ready to ‘take on the big guns’ in latest housing battle

Sunset pictured in Yoxford.

Sunset pictured in Yoxford. - Credit: citizenside.com

Villagers are preparing to “take on the big guns” in a battle against housing they fear could “impact hugely” on their quality of life.

Yoxford residents discussing Hopkins Homes’ application on Wednesday determined to fight fire with fire, potentially paying thousands for professional experts to take on the developer at a public inquiry.

Suffolk Coastal’s councillor for the village, Barry Slater, stressed the need to focus on the technical details on which he felt Hopkins Homes would be basing its case for the 26 property development.

“They sound like they’re sending in the big guns – they’re not just going through the motions,” he said.

A retired quantity surveyor agreed the villagers had a hard fight on their hands.

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“You’re going to have to do a lot of research because the national planning policy is in favour of the developer and you’ve got a lot weighted against you,” he said.

County councillor Michael Gower’s suggested response was to hire planning consultants or solicitors to fight the appeal.

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It met with near-unanimous support, despite potentially costing several thousand pounds.

“The real thing that’s come from this is that we’re going to need an expert,” one man said.

Campaigners against the development said it could also force the closure of the nearby village cricket club, due to concerns over potential injuries caused by stray balls.

Another vocal opponent to the plans, Tim Williams, speaking after the meeting, expressed further fears they were just the “thin end of the wedge” and could lead to huge swathes of housing all along the A12 towards Saxmundham.

“We are going to lose beautiful parkland and valuable amenities,” he said. The matter will be discussed again at Yoxford village hall at 6pm on Wednesday.

Hopkins Homes were contacted for a comment but failed to respond by the time of going to press.

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