Council throws out controversial plans

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Plans to build 49 homes on greenfield land on the outskirts of Bildeston have been rejected against the advice of council officers.

The outline application on land east of Artiss Close and Rotherham Road was rejected by members of Babergh District Council’s planning committee yesterday.

Councillors said there was no justifiable need for the homes to be built on agricultural land in the absence of a housing survey.

Bildeston is described as a core village in Babergh’s core strategy, which shows a requirement for 1,000 new homes in rural areas.

Councillors, however, argued that there was no proven need for such a high number of new homes in Bildeston at one time.

If accepted, the development would have seen the village population rise by 10 per cent.

Concerns were also raised over the safety and location of a footpath that would run along the B1078 to connect the development with the rest of the village.

Speaking after the meeting, Jocelyn Targett, a member of the Keep Bildeston Beautiful group, applauded the decision.

“We are really delighted and we are looking forward to reporting back to the hundreds of villagers following this,” he said. “It will be well received in the village.”

Outgoing South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo had voiced his opposition to the application, agreeing that greenfield land should not be developed.

The applicant, whose agent Keith Smith spoke of the growth opportunities the site would offer the village at the meeting, will have chance to appeal the decision.