Council approves developer bid for affordable housing

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A planning application to build 25 homes in Boxford has been approved – despite several objections to the scheme.

The application by Suffolk Housing Society will see 20 affordable homes and five open market homes built on the Sand Hill site.

At a planning committee meeting at Babergh District Council on Wednesday, planning permission was granted subject to a section 106 obligation and several conditions, including time limit, building materials and water drainage provisions.

The proposal was met with several objections because of claims it would cause harm to a designated heritage asset.

Babergh District Council’s corporate manager for heritage objected to the design on the grounds that it neither preserves the character of the conservation area or adds to the distinctiveness of the village.

There was further objection from Suffolk County Council because of the lack of available places at Boxford Primary School.

A request for a contribution of £73,086 for improvements to the school has been made under the section 106 agreement.

The district council received two letters of support and 53 letters of objections to the scheme.

One resident wrote: “The need for housing does not outweigh the damage the scheme will cause to heritage, the landscape, highway safety and social cohesion.”

Babergh District Council’s corporate manager for strategic housing, Julie Abbey-Taylor, supported the plan, stating that the village desperately needed more affordable housing.

Similarly, both Boxford and Edwardstone parish councils supported the application due to the lack of affordable housing in the area.

Boxford Parish Council chairman Julian Fincham-Jacques said the scheme was good news for the village.

He said: “The parish council, which voted unanimously when presented with the plans, was pleased to be notified of the decision and will look forward to working closely with the developers to ensure there is minimal disruption to neighbouring properties once work on the site commences.”