Plans for 120 homes in village are ‘pie in the sky’

Villagers in Liston are against plans to develop former factory site to homes, quadrupling size of village ANL-150107-065459009
Villagers in Liston are against plans to develop former factory site to homes, quadrupling size of village ANL-150107-065459009

A district councillor has joined the debate over plans to more than quadruple a small village, listing a number of reasons why the 120-home development is unsuitable.

To the disgust of many residents in Liston, developer Bonnington Investments has earmarked the former International Flavors and Fragrances site at Stafford Park for a new estate.

The development plans include the building of 100 dwellings and the change of use of existing buildings to create up to 22 apartments as well as a community centre.

In a letter to both Babergh and Braintree Disitrct Councils, Richard Kemp, Babergh district councillor for neighbouring Long Melford, dismissed the plans, suggesting there were a number reasons why the proposal failed the planning policies of both councils.

Mr Kemp wrote: “It is recognised within the National Planning Documents that proposed development of this size should be deemed sustainable.

“It is patently obvious that a site located in such a rural location, cannot meet that test.

“Sustainability cannot be overcome by cosmetic features that might suggest that test could be attained.”

Mr Kemp described the idea of having a community centre, shops and a regular bus service in the village as: “pie in the sky, not worthy of detailed comment”.

One major concern of many residents in Liston and Long Melford is the network of narrow lanes surrounding and accessing the village.

Mr Kemp noted this, describing the roads as “totally inadequate” to deal with a development of that size.

It had been suggested by the developer that the traffic would only replicate that of the traffic flows when the factory was open.

However, Mr Kemp responded to this point by saying that most workers had walked, cycled or shared cars to the site.

He added: “If the developer somehow got to the point of permission, then the developer should be given a condition to provide a link road to the A1092, despite the reluctance of Suffolk County Council to accept such a proposal.”

The developer has stated in his plans that the redevelopment of the area would allow for the remediation of the site, which has several areas of contaminated landfill, used for the by-products from the factory.

Mr Kemp said that the developer was aware of this when he bought the site and should be served notice by the Environment Agency to carry out this work immediately, saying he had raised the matter with South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge.

Mr Kemp also asked Mr Cartlidge to look into whether it was sensible to build a new development in an area prone to flooding.

Nobody from Bonnington Developments was available for comment on Mr Kemp’s criticisms.

Liston Residents’ Association, which objects to the plans, will be petitioning residents at the Long Melford Street Fair on July 12.

On July 11, there is a public meeting to discuss the development at Foxearth Village Hall from 10.30am.