‘No need’ for new homes in village

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A campaign group says there is a case for retesting demand for affordable new homes in Boxford.

The YourBoxford group is against plans for 25 homes on Sand Hill – which includes 20 affordable houses – saying it believes demand has dropped.

Speaking after the group’s committee meeting last week, founder Sue Bevan said: “This village has been sold this project on a false premise of local needs. It is understood that the demand from Boxford has now dropped.

“Despite assurances from Babergh that future tenants will be from those people who live in the village, or are related to Boxford residents, they cannot guarantee this as they are bound by legal requirements that make this impossible.

“Does Boxford want this? There is a case to retest the need properly and also reassess the scheme based upon up-to-date policy,” she added.

Revised plans by the Sand Hill site developer Iceni Homes went on show to villagers recently.

Iceni spokeswoman Deborah Croll said: “Following the withdrawal of the previous application, Iceni Homes has taken on board the comments that have been raised and amended the proposals in an effort to address these items.

“It is intended that a revised planning application will be submitted for this scheme of much-needed affordable homes for those with a connection to Boxford within the next few weeks.”

But Mrs Bevan, whose Cox Hill home backs on to the proposed development, said only one person from Babergh District Council was left to answer “many questions from the public” at the recent meeting in the village hall to view the revised plans.

She said: “Where was the housing enabling officer? Parish councillors were left with questions they could not answer as the developers and the architects did not deem it necessary to be available.

“Those who were present could see no major changes to the plans.”