MRS Bates (Letters, June 7) obviously does not allow the facts to stand in the way of her opinions but had she read the officer’s report on the Prolog application, she would have appreciated that the chief planning officer’s opinion was that substantial harm would be done to St Mary’s Church and harm to the setting of Chilton Hall and its registered historic park and gardens which together represent Chilton’s last surviving heritage assets.
This was also the view of the national and local heritage and conservation bodies including English Heritage, the Garden History Society, the Ancient Monument Society, the Suffolk Preservation Society, the Association of Garden Trusts, the Sudbury Society and Babergh’s own historic buildings and conservation officer.
Of course, the provision of employment is important but the issue here is the quality and numbers to be created, as the mayor of Sudbury recently queried.
We are of the view that an additional number of casual hires, which is the largest percentage of Prolog’s workforce, is not the answer and in any event there is no assurance from Prolog as to how many jobs will be created.
These jobs could be provided on another nearby site such as Chilton Woods thereby avoiding causing such harm to these heritage assets.
As to public access, Mrs Bates has forgotten, or chosen to ignore, that a footpath runs through the grounds of Chilton Hall and that each year we host events free of charge for local charities and groups, not least the annual Chilton Parish picnic, all of which was recorded in the officer’s report.
In the next month we are hosting three separate events for the Suffolk Gardens Trust, Gainsborough’s House and the Chilton Parish picnic.
LORD and LADY HART OF CHILTON