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Development proposals for 136 new homes in Glemsford provokes more than 400 objections

Unveiling of Glemsford's new sign after money was raised by the WI. (12229585)
Unveiling of Glemsford's new sign after money was raised by the WI. (12229585)

There have been more than 400 objections to plans to build 136 homes in Glemsford, amid fears the development will harm nearby listed buildings.

An application by EJL Landholdings Ltd proposes to build 101 homes and 35 retirement flats on land west of Low Street.

But the plans, which are recommended for refusal at next week’s Babergh District Council planning meeting, have come under fire from hundreds of locals and key organisations.

In its submission, Historic England said there would be “considerable harm” to nearby listed buildings, including the Grade I-listed St Mary’s Church.

Bosses from the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) said it would not maintain the special landscape qualities, and added: “We do not consider that a development of this scale, given its hill-top position and the rolling topography of the landscape around Glemsford, can be delivered without harm to the special landscape area and to the Stour Valley project area.”

Suffolk Highways has raised concerns about a lack of appropriate pavements for pedestrians, with some considered too narrow, while both Glemsford and Stanstead parish councils have objected due to highways access, the lack of a traffic survey and poor landscaping.

A report prepared ahead of next week’s decision revealed there had already been 429 objections from residents, who raised issues such as the lack of capacity at nearby schools and health centres, lack of employment opportunities in Glemsford and impact on the existing road network.

The original proposals, tabled in April 2018, had been for 98 homes and 60 retirement flats, but these were revised by the developer following community consultation.

In its planning statement, the developer said: “Consultation with local people has been an important part in the preparation of the planning application.

“It is recognised that addressing the overall aims of the neighbourhood plan is important; and the types of homes incorporated within the application have been proposed in order to meet the needs of the local area.”

The design statement added: “While there are many listed buildings of historical value in close proximity of the site, the sensitive approach of the layout and the architecture of the proposed dwellings will have minimal impact on the nearest listed properties.

“The large site offers a chance to revitalise an edge of the village with architecturally-sensitive, modern, well-planned dwellings that draw on the local vernacular styles and materials in a high-quality, organised and coherent fashion.”

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