Outbursts fail to derail plan for flats

Permission to change a former care home in Great Cornard into 10 flats was approved despite disgruntled objections from residents.

Plans to convert The Firs on Kings Hill into a mixture of one and two-bedroom flats was granted by Babergh District Council’s development committee on Wednesday.

Nearby neighbours had hit out at the proposals, citing concerns about an increase in traffic and being overlooked. Some also claimed they did not know enough about the applicant.

Committee chairman Peter Beer said some councillors were jeered during the meeting by residents who had attended to show their objections, with one person having to be ejected by vice-chairman Rex Thake.

“I declared an interest in the application, as I live in Cornard, so had to leave, but I understand the meeting got a bit unruly,” said Mr Beer.

“Some residents were heckling and one had to be asked to leave.”

Mr Beer said all the points put forward by those against the plans had been discussed, with the committee then voting on the scheme.

Applicant Martin Fryer said he was pleased with the outcome, having been involved in building the care home, which shut 14 months ago, in the late 1980s.

“It is a lovely building and I do not want it to just fall to pieces,” said the 69-year-old from Sudbury.

“I respect the people who are worried and the neighbours have a right to complain, but I also have a right to apply for a change of use and there is a shortage of one and two-bedroom flats in Babergh.”

Mr Fryer said he hoped to start work in the next few months.