Council: ‘We don’t want these new homes’

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PLANS for 170 new houses in Great Cornard have once again been condemned by councillors.

Amendments to Persimmon Homes’ controversial application to develop land near Carsons Drive in Great Cornard were discussed by a working party of parish councillors, with a response presented to the development and planning committee on Monday.

Speaking at the meeting, councillor Frances Jackson said the working party reiterated the council’s recommendation for refusal of the application from March 2010, while adding concerns over the intrusion on the “green belt” of the village’s country park and several other issues.

“Far from taking measures to discourage traffic from using Sheepshead Hill, it is to be used for two new junctions for access to the new estate,” she said.

The working party’s response criticised proposed traffic calming measures, citing experience with Persimmon Homes’ previous development near Rugby Road, as well as the possibility of free bus passes and car share plans for the new homes.

“These measures appear to be short term and unsustainable,” said Mrs Jackson.

The density of the housing proposed also came under fire, with the report showing concerns over parking, the location of and access to the four children’s play areas, flood risk assessments and the impact on the heritage of Great Cornard.

Mrs Jackson also expressed fears that grouping affordable houses together could create a divided community.

Babergh district councillor Mark Newman added: “We have had enough development in Great Cornard at the moment and the infrastructure hasn’t had time to catch up yet.”

Speaking after the meeting, Martin Davidson, land director of Persimmon Homes Anglia, said the company had attempted to address some concerns at the pre-application stage.

“It should be said, however, that a number of the stated concerns are not supported by the statutory authorities – the highways department and Anglian Water or, we believe, the case officer at Babergh District Council,” he said.

Michael Evans, chairman of Cornard Tye Residents’ Association, has lodged a second appeal with the High Court challenging a decision by the National Planning Casework Unit that Persimmon Homes does not need an environmental impact statement for the application.