Developer hopeful over inquiry result

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

The developer behind much-disputed plans for new homes in the centre of Long Melford says there is no reason why the proposals should not go ahead.

A public inquiry into an application to build 51 homes on the former Fleetwood Caravans site, near Hall Street, took place at the end of last month.

The inquiry was scheduled to take two days but ran on for an extra day, as a planning inspector heard evidence from applicant David Wilson Homes and those opposing the scheme. Both parties face an anxious wait for the result.

A spokeswoman for the developer said although initial plans were rejected in June on grounds of pedestrian safety, it was hopeful permission would be granted at the second attempt.

“We believe that this scheme provides safe access together with a number of community benefits such as affordable housing and public open space,” said the spokeswoman.

“During the initial planning phase, we consulted extensively with the community, taking comments on board and making amendments wherever possible.

“The decision to take the scheme to an inspector was because we believe that this centrally-located brownfield site provides an opportunity to deliver safe, sustainable development and we look forward to receiving a decision.”

Objectors to the proposals believe the development is too large and would be in the wrong place.

Christine Watts, a member of the Fleetwood Caravans Neighbourhood Group, which hired a 33-seater bus for residents to attend the inquiry, said common sense should prevail.

“We are not against housing and certainly not affordable housing, we just want suitable housing,” she said.

“This site is unsuitable as it is in the centre of Long Melford and there are too many houses.”

A decision is expected in six weeks.