Battle over plan for 51 homes set to resume

Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Campaigners battling proposals to build 51 homes in Long Melford are once again preparing to fight their corner.

A public inquiry is to be held into plans, submitted by David Wilson Homes, to build on the former Fleetwood Caravans site near Hall Street.

An initial application was turned down in June, with Babergh District Council ruling the development would not be safe for pedestrians.

David Wilson Homes has, however, submitted an appeal to the Secretary of State, and a planning inspector is to decide on the plans following a two-day inquiry this month.

David Watts, a member of the Fleetwood Caravan Group, which has rallied against the proposals, said he was hopeful the same conclusion would be reached.

“Nothing has changed and the feeling within Long Melford is that it is a crazy idea to put 51 homes on the site,” he said.

“There needs to be something that the village will be proud of in 50 years’ time, not something that will make money in the short-term, which is in the middle of a conservation area.”

The group claims that, along with paying little heed to the needs of pedestrians, proposed access roads are too narrow and there is inadequate parking provision.

Peter Turner, chairman of Long Melford Parish Council, said the authority had made its feelings clear about concerns over pedestrian safety and the plans were not right for the village.

He said a coach, leaving the George and Dragon pub, would be put on for residents keen to attend the inquiry at Hadleigh Town Hall on February 18 and 19.

“Last time, we had around 50 residents attend and I do not know why it is not in Long Melford or somewhere nearby,” said Mr Turner.

“It seems crazy as not everyone has a car but, whether people are for or against the development, they will be able to get there.”

David Wilson Homes claims the development has been well thought-out and there is no justifiable planning reason to refuse the proposals.