Proposals for Weavers Green development containing 80 new homes in Boxford unveiled at public meeting
Boxford residents have been told about proposals to build up to 80 new homes in their village on a farmer’s field off the main A1071.
Catesby Estates held a public consultation in the village hall last week to give people a chance to comment on proposals to build a selection of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes on 14 acres of land off Sand Hill.
The new development has been called Weavers Green.
Designs for the homes have been prepared by Catesby Estates, which specialises in working with landowners to obtain planning permission and then marketing sites to house builders.
Catesby said it is considering submitting an outline planning application later this year to “establish the principle of residential development” on the Sand Hill site, including access and housing layout.
If permission is approved, Catesby says it will work with builders on a range of new homes, with the first residents moving in in early 2021.
A spokeswoman for Catesby said: “More than 150 people attended the event, and we are working our way through the feedback received to update our plans.
“Some residents expressed some concern regarding traffic, which we are currently working with our highways consultant and the county council to address.
“Many people recognised Boxford is a highly desirable, but expensive place to live.
“Some people who have lived in the village have had to move out as they cannot afford a house and many recognise that their children will struggle to remain in the village due to a lack of affordable housing.
“Affordable housing was a key concern, and this site will deliver 35 per cent affordable homes.”
However, Bryn Hurren, district councillor for Boxford, told the Free Press he believes the proposal, in its current form, would bring nothing to the village, except “more confusion and strangulation with traffic”.
He added that last week’s meeting felt more like a marketing exercise than a public consultation, and that he had observed “a hostile reaction” to the plans from residents.
“This is just the sort of development that we don’t want,” said Cllr Hurren.
“It has got good links to the bypass, but the doctor’s surgery is full, and the school needs to expand, so it just adds to existing problems.
“Boxford cannot cope without more roads and better facilities. Boxford is not against development, but it has got to be in the right place and there has to be these provisions, which this plan doesn’t have.”
Boxford Parish Council has begun the process of preparing a neighbourhood plan in respect of future development in the village.
Residents were given the chance to comment on their priorities for the village, in a questionnaire delivered to all homes just before Christmas.
This new proposal sits alongside Station Field, a development of just over 20 homes, which were built by Suffolk House – the Bury St Edmunds-based housing association – in 2016.
In April, Hopkins Homes also held a public consultation in the village hall over its plans to build 45 new homes on land off Sand Hill – opposite the proposed Weavers Green site.
That proposed development would include 35 per cent of affordable homes with a selection of two, three and four bedroom houses and bungalows.
Plans for a further 24 homes off Daking Avenue – as part of a second phase of housing development in the village by Landex Ltd – were defeated in November, after a planning inspector upheld a decision to refuse permission on the grounds of highway safety.