Fresh bid to build on derelict village land

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New homes on a derelict, former agricultural engineering site in Glemsford are back on the planning agenda after three years.

Suffolk-based Peal Estates wants to build 27 homes, ranging from two to four bedrooms with 67 parking spaces, on a two-acre former E W Downs engineering works site in Brook Street, which has been derelict for seven years.

The developer failed in its previous attempt in 2010 to get planning permission on the same site for 21 homes and a supermarket.

It followed a backlash from villagers and shop-owners worried about traffic problems and over-development of the village.

The latest plan by Peal Estates has been submitted to Babergh District Council without a supermarket, but with an increase in the number of homes.

Glemsford district councillor Len Young, who is also a parish councillor, said he believes the developer will be putting in another planning application shortly to turn the village’s garage, currently being demolished, into a supermarket.

And he said that if this happens, there is likely to be another outcry from villagers who feel another shop would upset the balance of trade in the village.

He said: “People are concerned about how the village could sustain another shop.

“Our current shops serve us well, and we do not need any more.

“If a supermarket was built on the garage site, it could mean that one of our other shops has to close. If it was our post office, that would not be good.”

Mr Young said villagers who want to live in the village in affordable homes might welcome the new plan.

“We have a population of 4,000 people,” he said. “Youngsters grow up and get married and many of them would like to stay in the village. If you are Glemsford born and bred, you want to stay here.

“But there is not enough low-cost housing, so I hope there are affordable homes being included in this plan.”

A petition signed by 440 people was presented to the district council in 2010 protesting against the plans.

Mr Young said people were worried about the access road to the site being too narrow, which was also one of the objections put forward by protesters last time.

“There are houses in the road with cars parked outside, so it’s very narrow in places,” he added.

The new plan includes the demolition of industrial buildings including a warehouse office and workshop.

Glemsford Parish Council is due to consider the revised plans at its next meeting in January.