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Babergh gives go ahead for homes at Melford tea rooms

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Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Long Melford Parish Council has been left disappointed after plans for two new homes to be built on site of the Fanny Anne’s Tea Rooms were approved without being put to a planning committee.

The decision was taken by Babergh planning officers after it was decided there was no need for a committee hearing.

The tea room’s owners in Long Melford will now be able to erect a pair of semi-detached dwellings with access on to St Catherine’s Road following demolition of existing single-storey outbuildings.

The parish council’s planning committee had requested an urgent planning committee site visit, to consider the issues it felt made the site unsuitable.

This included overshadowing and detriment to neighbouring properties. It also felt the layout and density would lead to over-development.

Insufficient parking was also highlighted, while the council also felt the proposed vehicle access would be too close to the junction with Hall Street.

In his report case officer James Platt said the plans represented a sustainable form of development, consistent with the aims of the National Planning Policy Framework.

A Babergh ward member had requested the decision be made by Planning Committee.

However the Babergh Planning Charter states: “Members should not request a referral unless the application involves significant policy, consistency or other material considerations and a decision on the application is of more than local significance.” In this instance it was not felt this was the case.

A Babergh spokesman said: “The councillor was invited to clarify or expand on his referral to answer these points, but the team did not feel these concerns were satisfactorily answered and so the decision was made under delegated powers.

The application received six objections from residents but the Babergh spokesman added: “Given this limited number the application was not considered sufficiently controversial to require referral to the committee on those grounds.”

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