People’s Park homes plan decision delay

A decision on whether 100 houses will be built on a Sudbury meadow has been delayed until the new year due to a lack of information.

Babergh District Council’s development committee was scheduled to decide on West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust’s outline application for development of People’s Park, in Waldingfield Road, on Wednesday.

Peter Beer, chairman of Babergh’s development committee, said the council was awaiting information from Suffolk County Council’s highways department

“We had the site inspection last week and we were hoping that everything would fall into place so we could decide on Wednesday but, unfortunately, it hasn’t gone according to plan,” he said.

Sudbury Common Lands Charity, the park’s former owner, is awaiting an invitation to buy the land back from the trust, which will be sent after the planning application is decided. The land, worth around £2.5million, is likely to double in value should permission for the houses be granted.

Tony Platt, chairman of the People’s Park Preservation Association, said that, while no progress had been made with regard to raising funds to help purchase the land, efforts were being focused on achieving a compromise over any possible development.

“We are hoping we may be able to persuade Babergh to relax its restrictions as, in fact, we are quite pleased with the way the trust has tried to meet our wishes,” he said.

Mr Platt said planning rules meant that the proposal had to include two separate play areas, one for older children and one for younger ones.

“If we could put the two spaces together as one open space, I think we would be well on the way to restoring a significant piece of meadowland in the area, while still having the housing development as well,” he said.

“We are trying to be very positive about this.”

Jan Osborne, a Sudbury town councillor who is campaigning against the development, said she agreed with Mr Platt that progress was being made, but added that she had “real concerns” about the number of houses outlined in the proposal.

The plans are now expected to go to before the council on January 23.