Group disappointed by Long Melford homes plan report

Campaigners fighting against plans for 51 houses in Long Melford have criticised a planning officer’s recommendation to approve the scheme.

David Wilson Homes’ application for the former Fleetwood Caravan factory site in Hall Street was due to be decided by Babergh District Council’s development committee yesterday, with the report presented to councillors recommending approval.

David Watts, chairman of the Fleetwood Caravans Neighbourhood Group, said: “We are obviously very disappointed, especially after the meeting we had with Babergh last week, when we put up a very strong case against it.

“It would be unwise if the councillors go with the recommendation.”

The group’s objections centre around what it considers to be unsuitable access, the density of the housing and environmental concerns.

Long Melford Parish Council objected to the plans in November and has since reiterated its concerns.

Suffolk County Council’s highways department also opposed the plans at the end of last year, stating it will not adopt the roads and footpaths on the estate, prompting Babergh to seek further views from independent highways consultant Create Consulting.

A petition of 849 names objecting to the plans was submitted to the district council, while the report notes a total of 371 letters against and 14 in favour were received throughout the process.

If approved, David Wilson Homes has agreed to pay more than £230,000 towards education, libraries, health care and footpaths.

A company spokeswoman said: “We welcome the recommendation for approval. Our proposals will deliver a number of benefits locally including 18 much-needed affordable homes.”

Log on to www.suffolkfreepress.co.uk for the meeting’s outcome.