Angry Bures residents protest housing development accused of planning breach

Bures, Suffolk. Residents protesting about a housing development on Cuckoo Hill where they live which are subject to a further planning application. Pictured are Carol Walters and Clare Frewin. ''Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography
Bures, Suffolk. Residents protesting about a housing development on Cuckoo Hill where they live which are subject to a further planning application. Pictured are Carol Walters and Clare Frewin. ''Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

A group of angry residents held a protest over a housing development in Bures, over fears it is being built far higher than it should be and will impact nearby homes.

They claim the six homes being built on Cuckoo Hill are not following the plans approved in February 2015, looming over their homes eight feet taller than agreed.

Bures, Suffolk. Residents protesting about a housing development on Cuckoo Hill where they live which are subject to a further planning application. Pictured are Carol Walters and Clare Frewin. ''Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

Bures, Suffolk. Residents protesting about a housing development on Cuckoo Hill where they live which are subject to a further planning application. Pictured are Carol Walters and Clare Frewin. ''Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

Clare Frewin claimed that the development, which started in March 2017, dominates existing homes.

She said: “We’ve had a number of problems, including police attending the site following a near miss with a digger and issues with parking and access to the nearby garage. Our concern is the increase in ground level.

“It was clear the site had not been cleared, and excavated earth and concrete was just being spread around, resulting in the ground height across the site being raised substantially.

“The houses have been positioned closer to our properties. They dominate our homes.”

Bures, Suffolk. Residents protesting about a housing development on Cuckoo Hill where they live which are subject to a further planning application. Pictured from left Dominic, James, Isabella, Eleanor and Clare Frewin in their garden which is overlooked by one of the new build houses. ' 'Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

Bures, Suffolk. Residents protesting about a housing development on Cuckoo Hill where they live which are subject to a further planning application. Pictured from left Dominic, James, Isabella, Eleanor and Clare Frewin in their garden which is overlooked by one of the new build houses. ' 'Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

Mrs Frewin said a group of residents had commissioned an independent survey to check floor levels, after a Babergh District Council planning enforcement case opened in October.

She said: “I emailed Babergh’s planning enforcement and, in January, I was told the height increase confirmed by the developer was 1.7 metres.”

She said she now believes it is 2.64 metres higher – more than eight foot.

“I have also taken the opportunity to measure the distance from our boundary to the closest house and it is 8.5 metres, when the original plans showed 11.6 metres. Again, no action has been taken.”

Bures, Suffolk. Residents protesting about a housing development on Cuckoo Hill where they live which are subject to a further planning application.' 'Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

Bures, Suffolk. Residents protesting about a housing development on Cuckoo Hill where they live which are subject to a further planning application.' 'Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

She added: “If a member of the public builds an extension that differs from the approved plans, enforcement action is taken, yet a developer can build what they want.

“Given the known increase in height of the houses, the ground level and impact on local residents, I have repeatedly asked what action will be taken.”

At the weekend, scores of villagers held a protest outside the site – on the same day that the homes were being marketed for sale.

A spokesman for Babergh District Council said: “Since planning permission was originally issued, the site has changed ownership.

Bures, Suffolk. Residents protesting about a housing development on Cuckoo Hill where they live which are subject to a further planning application.' 'Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

Bures, Suffolk. Residents protesting about a housing development on Cuckoo Hill where they live which are subject to a further planning application.' 'Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

“After work began at existing ground level, some residents contacted Babergh, expressing concern that the completed development would exceed the height specified in the original planning permission.

“Our planning enforcement team investigated and found these fears were well founded, and that the development would be higher than the original permission specified.

“As a result, a planning application has been submitted to Babergh District Council to vary the permitted height of the development. This application is currently under consideration and will be determined in due course.”