Developer withdraws proposal after review

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

A bid to build new homes in Boxford, which objectors feared would destroy the village’s appeal, have been put on hold.

Iceni Homes and Suffolk Housing had drawn up proposals for 25 homes for land on Sand Hill, but have now withdrawn the planning application.

Sue Beven, from Cox Hill, said she believed the decision had been taken after the proposals were sent to the Suffolk Design Review Panel – a body of architects and building experts.

“The panel went into the plans very closely and came back with a huge number of objections,” said Mrs Beven, who has contested the plans.

“The layout and design of the houses, both the interior and exterior, were not acceptable and there were highways and pedestrian access objections.”

Developers had been working with Boxford Parish Council to build the homes – 20 of which would be affordable – after a survey in 2010 identified a need for more housing.

Opponents claimed the homes should not all be built in one place as they would lead to traffic congestion and were out of place.

Mrs Beven said there was now an opportunity to explore alternative sites for the houses, including land west of Hadleigh Road, off Cox Hill and off Butchers Lane.

“The council can look at different sites and start afresh,” said the 82-year-old.

“We can get a proper development plan for the village for the future, where there are less objections. Other sites may be smaller, but we can have homes dotted around the village which would be better.”

“I want affordable housing in the village, just in the right place.”

Parish council chairman Roger Balls said it was a setback that the plans had been withdrawn, but he knew there were a number of issues associated with them.

“We have to look at the application and see all the reasons why there were problems and go from there,” he said.

“There were worries about drainage, which we knew about, but I do not think we should go completely back to square one.”

Mr Balls said there was a need for more than 40 new homes in the village.

“We were told one larger plan was more economical and Sand Hill was the one developers went with,” he said. “Several other sites were rejected.”

Bryn Hurren, district councillor for the village, said once a few issues were resolved, the plans would be appropriate for a rural setting.

“We have a very good site and we need to get something young people in Boxford will be happy to live in,” he said.

“It is about providing village homes for village people and that is what is important.”

A spokeswoman for Iceni Homes said its application had been withdrawn to allow amendments following feedback received during the planning process.

“We anticipate a revised planning application will be submitted in March,” she said.

“We take pride in the fact that we work with all parties, in particular the local community, to address housing need.”