Developer sees appeal over 170-home plan dismissed

UNSPOILT: Michael Evans admires the views from Abbas Hall.
UNSPOILT: Michael Evans admires the views from Abbas Hall.

Attempts to build 170 houses on land made famous by painter Thomas Gainsborough have been rejected following a public inquiry.

Developer Persimmon Homes had appealed for consent to create the homes in Carsons Drive, Great Cornard. An initial application from the company was turned down early last year.

Following an inquiry in November, a planning inspector has now ruled the proposals should not go ahead, citing the impact the development would have on the Grade I-listed Abbas Hall and the surrounding landscape.

Michael Evans, chairman of Cornard Tye Residents’ Association, said: “I am extremely pleased the plans were dismissed.

“Persimmon cannot just go away and tinker with its existing proposals as the inspector singled out two heritage assets in the area – Abbas Hall and Cornard Wood.”

The view from Abbas Hall is said to have inspired Gainsborough’s painting Cornard Wood, while other objections to the plans included the design, layout and access.

Mr Evans said he intended to try to get the site removed from Babergh District Council’s planning framework document to protect it from being built on.

“That is the long-term aim,” he said.

Mark Newman, a parish councillor, said the ruling showed people power and common sense could prevail.

“There were too many houses, it was not the right site and the layout was all wrong,” he said.