Legal challenge homes plan goes back to council

Michael Evans is angry about the housing in Cornard approved by the council ANL-150906-165619009
Michael Evans is angry about the housing in Cornard approved by the council ANL-150906-165619009

Councillors are being forced to reconsider controversial plans to build 166 new homes near an historic home in Great Cornard.

Babergh District Council has confirmed that it will look at the planning application for homes on 31 acres of land east of Carsons Drive again at Wednesday’s planning meeting.

A spokeswoman for Babergh District Council said: “There has been a legal challenge and the legal advice we have received is that it is good practice for members to reconsider the application, having regard to the points raised in the legal challenge.”

Michael Evans, chairman of Cornard Tye Residents’ Association had mounted the challenge, claiming district councillors approved the new homes based on a ‘flawed’ planning report which, he claimed, was full of “legal and factual flaws”.

He said the report should have been withdrawn and a new report commissioned.

Mr Evans said he tried to stop a planning meeting, held in May, going ahead at which councillors gave the green light to the developer Persimmon Homes.

The Great Cornard development – which includes 58 affordable flats and bungalows – was approved by four votes, despite criticism by councillors about the design and layout and the impact on nearby historic 13th-century Abbas Hall.

Mr Evans sent a “pre-action protocol letter for judicial review” to the council urging it to delay the planning meeting.

He said: “I received a letter yesterday to say that the council is prepared to take the matter back to the committee with a report to deal with the issued complained of in the protocol letter.

“I was initially quite glad but I have now read the report and it is still recommending approval of the application.”

In its letter, the council said that as a result of its response to the protocol letter, “it is quite clear that there will be no basis to proceed with your application for judicial review.”