Council questions need for homes

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Councillors and residents raised a series of concerns over plans to build more homes in Great Cornard at a meeting on Tuesday.

Plans for 500 homes on land to the north east of Great Cornard were criticised by some members of Great Cornard Parish Council, as they work on a response to Babergh District Council’s local plan consultation.

Residents in attendance were left frustrated after being told that Babergh’s planning and policy officer, Bill Newman, who was in attendance to brief council members, would not be able to answer any of their questions.

Currently, there are five zones highlighted for potential development, all situated above Shawlands Avenue and to the north of the A134.

Councillors were divided, with Stewart Sheridan and Tony Bavington stating there was a need for housing, although Mr Bavington insisted any scheme would have to matched by available jobs.

He said: “If we are just saying there is no need for housing, then that’s not necessarily the view of everybody in Great Cornard.”

His response came after fellow councillor David Thomas criticised any proposed development.

“We are getting fobbed off with 750 homes,” he said. “Everybody knows Babergh is a soft touch, there are no jobs.

“Hundreds of jobs from Guildford Europe have gone, all replaced with housing.

“Firms like Delphi are cutting jobs. All we are doing is bringing people in to work elsewhere in Colchester and Bury St Edmunds. We don’t need them.”

Concerns were also raised around the importance of maintaining the Stour Valley, with Mr Bavington proposing a maximum build height, while Michael Evans, chairman of Cornard Tye Residents’ Association, said the development would damage the setting of the Grade I listed Abbas Hall.