Controversial plan for Bildeston homes

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A controversial plan for 48 homes in Bildeston has been passed by Babergh District Council’s planning committee.

The site comprises of 3.1ha of land to the east of Bildeston’s settlement boundary on grade three farmland, considered the ‘best and most versatile’ agricultural land.

Members decided to follow the recommendation of case officer Gemma Pannell and give permission for the outline application, with specific details to follow in a full application.

The development would see six one-bedroom, four two-bedroom and three two-bedroom affordable properties built.

There would also be four two-bedroom shared ownership homes as well as eight two-bedroom, 12 three-bedroom, eight four-bedroom and three five bedroom properties built.

In May 2015 outline permission for the site was refused because the proposed development was contrary to policy CS2 of the Babergh Core Strategy which states that in the countryside, outside the towns and urban areas, core and hinterland villages, development would only be permitted “in exceptional circumstances subject to a proven justifiable need.”

There were also concerns whether the applicant had proven a justifiable local need for the development and over pedestrian access to the village centre.

However this time the local highways authority raised no objections.

In representations from members of the public, other concerns were raised including issues surrounding additional traffic and the impact of aircraft noise on residents of the new homes.

The campaign group Keep Bildeston Beautiful, which opposed the original plans, said the applicant had failed to address the reason for refusal in any substantive way

It said it failed to address local housing need in any meaningful way, with no local housing needs survey undertaken.

The group also said that the need for the development had not been proven, adding that there were many other deliverable housing sites within Babergh, believing the development is unnecessary.