Controversial plans for 51 homes go in

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FORMAL plans for new homes on a former industrial site in Long Melford, which were heavily criticised, have been submitted.

David Wilson Homes is seeking permission from Babergh District Council for 51 houses including 18 affordable homes, as well as 113 allocated parking spaces and nine visitor spaces on the site formerly occupied by Fleetwood Caravans in Hall Street.

Public consultation events were held in April, during which 79 feedback forms were received, with 57 per cent saying they would like to see the site developed for housing.

County and district councillor Richard Kemp, who had initially urged the developer to rethink plans due to the density and locations of housing, acknowledged that developers had tried to address concerns raised by residents.

“The houses are further away from Cock and Bell Lane and the play area will be managed by a company rather than being dumped on the parish council, but the shame is they still haven’t sorted out any public car parking spaces,” he said.

“I would have liked to see that and I know the traders and business association would as well.”

Mr Kemp also reiterated his disappointment at the site being used for residential development, given the unemployment problems faced nationally.

“We should be trying to provide jobs in and around communities and this flies in the face of that.”

The four-acre site was bought by Slovenian company Adria in 2005 before the factory closed four years later.

A spokeswoman for David Wilson Homes said: “We have spent over a year carrying out a marketing exercise to establish whether there is any viable commercial use for the site, as required by planning policy.

“During this time there has been little interest from employers offering to utilise the site, which is why we are proposing a purely residential development.”

For the full story see this week’s Free Press.