Raydon councillors angry at Babergh planning process after 21-home plan approved

Babergh district council offices

Picture Mark Westley
Babergh district council offices Picture Mark Westley

Raydon Parish Council has voiced its frustration at a lack of transparency in the planning process, after plans to build 21 new homes in the village were given the go-ahead.

Plans for a development on land east of St Georges Field in The Street were given outline approval by Babergh District Council last week, despite the recommendation by the district planning officer that it be refused on the grounds that it was an “unsustainable location”.

The report to the district council’s planning committee said that, while the provision of 21 homes would help contribute to Babergh’s undersupply of housing, this would be outweighed by the inaccessibility of the site, the lack of a locally identified need for the homes and the harm it would cause to the village’s character and appearance.

But at their meeting on Wednesday, committee members disagreed with this assessment and voted to give outline permission to the application, which was submitted by John Peacock.

Raydon Parish Council, which opposed the proposal, citing a lack of infrastructure and highway visibility as well as the negative impacts on the environment, met on Tuesday night to discuss the matter.

It agreed to put its concerns in writing to the Arthur Charvonia, chief executive of Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils.

Parish council chairman Sue Newton said she was frustrated the district council had not made the parish fully aware of the date of the meeting where the application would be decided.

She told the Free Press: “As chairman, I was not aware of the Babergh planning committee meeting. I am in regular contact with the parish clerk and she was not made aware either.

“That, to me, is what is wrong at the moment. Babergh planning are not keeping villages properly informed.

“The biggest problem I am finding is the Babergh planning website is not always accessible.

“As chairman, I should have access to all the documents and make comments and it’s just not possible at the moment.

“I cannot even register to access planning documents on Babergh’s website.”