Fresh bid to protect village green site

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Attempts are being made to safeguard a section of land in Great Cornard from “unwanted” development.

Countryside east of Carsons Drive has been the subject of a number of planning applications to build homes over the last decade.

The site is associated with Thomas Gainsborough’s painting Cornard Wood and is close to the Grade I-listed Abbas Hall.

During a Great Cornard Parish Council meeting on Monday, members agreed to try to prevent building on the land by having it redesignated in the local plan as farmland. The site is currently classed as a brown field site and has been allocated for housing.

“We want the land to stay as it is,” said Pam White, chairman of the council’s development and planning committee.

“It would be lovely to keep it so people would not have to worry and could still enjoy walking up there.”

The council is to write to Babergh District Council with the proposal, but Mrs White admitted that its attempts may be “wishful thinking”.

“We thought it was worth a try and will wait and see,” she said.

Earlier this month, plans to build 170 homes on the site were refused by a planning inspector following a public inquiry.

Developer Persimmon Homes was told that the design and layout of its proposals was not acceptable.

Mark Newman, parish councillor, said he welcomed efforts to protect the land.

“It will be a hard one to get through, but we want it to go back to being a green site,” he said.

“It would stop the problem of unwanted potential developments coming back every so often.”

Mr Newman, from Brooms Street, said the majority of villagers would be behind the council’s efforts.

“The people of Cornard do not want the land to be built on,” he said. “It is in the wrong place and everything is against it.”