Bildeston council to consider legal action after 48-home plan is approved

Bildeston development plans
Bildeston development plans

Bildeston Parish Council will soon consider whether to launch another legal challenge against a plan to build 48 new homes in the village, after outline permission was granted last week.

An outline application for 48 homes on land east of Artiss Close and Rotheram Road was given the green light by Babergh District Council on Wednesday, despite heavy opposition from the parish council.

The proposal, submitted by Tom Ryder Smith, was previously approved in April 2016, before a judicial review led to the application being quashed in December and returned to planners to be reconsidered.

In the recommendation for approval, the planning officers said that, while the application was not in strict accordance with certain planning policies, the adverse impacts did not outweigh the benefits of the development.

But the parish council objected to the proposal, stating it is excessively big for the size of Bildeston and poorly integrated with the rest of the village.

Andrew Guttridge, vice-chairman of Bildeston Parish Council, told the Free Press: “We are obviously very disappointed.

“One of our arguments is that there is a better site for development in the village, on the site of the old disused garage. We think that’s a much preferable site.

“Another thing we are concerned about is the poor pedestrian access from Artiss Close to the village.

“The other thing that concerned us was the very short notice at which they held the meeting.

“It was not really enough time for us to prepare and present our best possible case. We can’t think of any reason why it’s been done in so much haste.

“They have approved it anyway and we think they have not been listening to the local community.

“Clearly, it’s not the outcome we wanted and we had hoped that, after having the original application quashed, they would have listened to us.”

There was also opposition from villagers and the Keep Bildeston Beautiful campaign group.

Mr Guttridge said the parish council would be seeking legal advice and consider its options at its next council meeting.