Charity founder resents cash waste

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

The founder of a woodland retreat charity in Sudbury says he resents having to pay out for retrospective planning permission.

Rob Brooks, who runs the Eden-Rose Coppice off Quay Lane – a sanctuary for cancer sufferers and children with learning difficulties – says he has had to pay £200 to apply for planning permission for a shed and a pedestrian footbridge.

He was told by Babergh District Council that a nearby resident had complained about the shed not having permission, and that there had been an objection to the footbridge for a wheelchair crossing a woodland pond.

“I don’t know why they objected but apparently they did,” said Mr Brooks. “The footbridge has been here since we opened in 2007 and it’s there for people to get around the footpath and across the pond.

“Ideally, I’d really like to spend this money on helping people living with cancer – not applying for planning permission.”

Mr Brooks said the shed was a stronger replacement for one which had been broken into a number of times and was sited well away from nearby houses.

“When we first got this place, some people said a woodland for cancer sufferers would devalue the price of their houses,” he said. “I think it’s a shame.

“But I am dealing with this professionally and applying for permission.”

He said two tree companies – one from Lavenham – had come forward to cut up the 10 trees blown over in the recent storm.