Village cannot cope with never ending expansion, say residents

UNDER SCRUTINY: The proposed site on Sand Hill where 25 new houses could be built by developer Iceni Homes.
UNDER SCRUTINY: The proposed site on Sand Hill where 25 new houses could be built by developer Iceni Homes.

The submission of plans to build 25 homes on a greenfield site in Boxford have sparked concerns the village will become “overloaded”.

Developer Iceni Homes formally put forward its proposals, which include the creation of 20 affordable houses on Sand Hill, last week.

The move has prompted a number of residents, already worried about the affects on-going housing developments will have, to voice objections.

A website,, has even been set up opposing the plans.

“There are a huge number of objections to this,” said Sue Bevan, from Cox Hill, who organised the website.

“There are already 21 houses being built at Goodlands (Swan Street) and this will mean another 25.

“We really seem to be overloading the village.”

Mrs Bevan, who has lived in Boxford for more than 40 years, said the school would struggle to find places for extra children, while congestion would increase, as would the risk of flooding.

“There are already drainage problems and Ash Street and the town centre have suffered,” she said.

“Parking in the village is horrendous and people just cannot get down there.”

Work on building the 21 homes in Swan Street is due to start next year, after permission was granted in February.

Reg Alderton, who lives in the street and campaigned against that scheme, is also among those against the Sand Hill homes.

“There should be no more development on the north side of Boxford, as Swan Street cannot take any more traffic,” he said.

“Babergh District Council should be more considerate towards its existing residents and protect the environment of the village.”

Iceni Homes carried out a consultation with residents in the summer and said views expressed would be taken into account.

The homes are deemed necessary following a survey in 2010 which highlighted a need for more affordable housing.

But Gareth Price, whose home in Brook Hall Road backs directly on to the proposed site, said residents supported affordable homes, not “an extra load” of new houses.

“I am not in favour of the village being expanded indefinitely,” he said.

“This is a green field site, which is outside the village envelope, and the design of the homes is poor.

“The parish council does not appear to be planning for the future and seems deaf to the views of the people of the village.”

Mrs Bevan added that she was also worried that elderly and young families, whom the houses are aimed at, would be left “marooned”, as there was currently no footpath access to the development.

“It is such a shame, because this is a great village,” she said.

Residents have until December 1 to write to the district council to express their views on the plans.