Shock, horror ... they’re back!

Latest letters from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest letters from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
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The news that Persimmon Homes has come back with a fresh proposal to build homes in a picturesque part of Great Cornard was no real surprise.

And this despite the company’s original proposal being rejected by planners, and then by a planning inspector at appeal.

True, the company has reduced the scale of the planned development close to Cornard Wood. Originally, Persimmon intended to build 170 properties. Now it has scaled down the plans, and wants only 166.

Persimmon’s chief executive, Jeff Fairburn, speaking on Radio Four’s Today programme recently, said: “As a company, we’ll build on green belt sites or brown field sites – they’ve just got to be viable.

“If no other location is viable, you need to be able to build on the green belt.”

Understandably, and totally justifiably, the parish council and Cornard Tye Residents’ Association have relaunched their opposition to a green belt development plan which they must have hoped had gone away.

There is an ominous sense of déjà vu here. Remember how Tesco kept coming back with plans for Hadleigh?

Any proposed large-scale housing development in this area can be criticised on familiar grounds – lack of infrastructure, lack of jobs – both of which apply here.

But the main issue has to be whether this site – with its beauty and connections with Thomas Gainsborough – is the right place for development.

A minor adjustment to the plan doesn’t necessarily make it any better.

If development on this particular piece of land wasn’t right first time around, is it any more right at the second time of asking?

I sympathise with residents of towns and villages over their concerns about street lights being switched off.

People have been injured in falls, and there are fears that arson attacks in Sudbury are linked to the switch-off.

Not having street lights does bring one benefit ... no light pollution, so you can enjoy the beauty of the night sky.

Not everybody wants that of course, but it’s surely not beyond the authorities to implement a program that leaves some lights on in towns at night, and thus allay fears.

When I first moved into the countryside, no street lights took a bit of getting used to. I soon learned that, if you were out at night, a torch was an essential.

Almost falling in a ditch coming back from my first harvest supper in Alpheton – and I’m teetotal – underlined that point.

Councillors – parish, town, district and county – have come in for a fair amount of stick in the Free Press’ letters page in recent weeks, with most correspondents concluding that they could do a far, far better job than the present lot.

So, it looks like we could see some pretty crowded ballot papers next year when local elections roll round as all these critics bid to replace the current crop of councillors.

Or am I being just a touch naive?