Relief for Boxford residents after plan for 24 homes refused
Villagers have expressed their relief after plans to build 24 homes in Boxford were narrowly refused.
Planning permission for the development near Daking Avenue was turned down by Babergh District Council’s planning committee last week, as councillors voted seven to six against the scheme.
The site, which was the second phase of the Goodlands scheme, proved controversial among villagers due to existing traffic issues and safety concerns.
The plans were heavily criticised over fears it would cause additional traffic through the centre of the village.
“Swan Street is struggling to cope,” said parish council chairman Julian Fincham-Jacques this week. “It’s the main part of the village and the amount of traffic is having an adverse effect.”
The narrowness of the road already poses safety concerns for pedestrians and residents, with some vehicles forced to mount the pavement.
“It’s only a matter of time until there is a serious accident there,” claimed Mr Fincham-Jacques.
Boxford has been listed as one of the core villages earmarked for more housing, but the parish council argues that the location needs to be sustainable, and coupled with improvements to infrastructure.
Tina Loose, chairman of The Boxford Society, criticised the county council’s highways department for failing to identify any traffic issues.
“They stated there had been no increase in traffic, which is just impossible,” she said. “Anyone that lives in the village knows it has gone up massively.”
Mrs Loose said there had been countless times when she had seen near misses in Swan Street.
“Sometimes, my heart is in my mouth,” she said.
Mrs Loose did, however, highlight the village’s willingness to meet the area’s housing demand.
“A lot of people know we have to make way for affordable housing, just like other villages have,” she said. “We owe it to the younger generation.”
Fellow society member David Burden, 74, who lives in Swan Street, said that, although the location was impractical, he was not opposed to more housing.
“I believe we can take more homes,” he said. “But not in the wrong place.”