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Opposition to plans for 166 homes near Cornard Wood

Michael Evans, right, chairman of the Cornard Tye Residents Association with Andrew Lockhart, secretary of the residents association and his wife Mary Lockhart pictured in the field where the development is due to take place. ANL-140827-114312001

Michael Evans, right, chairman of the Cornard Tye Residents Association with Andrew Lockhart, secretary of the residents association and his wife Mary Lockhart pictured in the field where the development is due to take place. ANL-140827-114312001

Councillors and residents have restated their opposition to 166 homes being built in a picturesque and historic part of Great Cornard.

Persimmon Homes has re-applied for a development on land to the East of Carsons Drive, this time applying for 166 homes to be built on land close to the Grade I Listed Abbas Hall and Cornard Wood.

Original plans to build 170 properties were rejected last year before an appeal was also rejected by a planning inspector.

The new proposal has been criticised for being too similar to original plans, with criticisms of road safety and on the impact on the landscape, which is thought to be featured in paintings by Thomas Gainsborough.

In an extraordinary meeting called by Great Cornard Parish Council, members of the planning committee decided they would again show their unanimous opposition to the plans in their response to Babergh District Council.

“We oppose on the same grounds as before,” said chair of the committee Pam White.

“They’ve not really changed it so we have put in objections again, it’s all we can do, we hope they see our points.

“All they have done is taken out a few houses.

“The roads there are dangerous, it would very dangerous to have more traffic, I can see accidents happening.”

Council clerk Michael Fitt said he did not know of any support for the plans.

“Last time we had a public meeting with 200 people objecting to it,” Mr Fitt said. “I haven’t spoken to anyone in favour of it.”

This sentiment was echoed by parish councillor Tony Bavington, who said: “Absolutely nobody in Great Cornard wants this development.”

Mr Fitt, however, admitted he was worried the plans may be passed because of pressure placed on district councils from the Government for houses to be built.

As well as fears for road safety, much of the opposition is focused on the impact on Abbas Hall, the second oldest building in Suffolk.

Michael Evans, chairman of the Cornard Tye Residents’ Association, said the plans would harm the setting of the listed building, which under legislation should be prevented unless the benefits outweigh the “considerable damage” that would be caused.

“The only benefits would be provision of housing,” Mr Evans said. “But these could be built anywhere.”

Mr Evans said the views, both of and from the 13th century Hall, would be spoilt, as a line of trees would be planted to obstruct the view of the new estate.

It is believed some of Gainsborough’s work was painted from the Hall itself.

 

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