Villagers hail latest victory in battle to block partially-built housing development in Bures
A controversial housing development in Bures has been dealt another major blow – but villagers say their battle against it is not over.
Babergh District Council rejected five separate applications for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing Use or Development (Cleud) on six partially-built homes on Cuckoo Hill.
The applications were in response to July’s unanimous refusal of revised plans for the development, which had to be submitted after the council upheld a complaint by residents that the homes were built well above the maximum permitted height in the first application, approved in February 2015.
In its Cleud applications, The Stemar Group had argued that the development site is on a slope, and claimed the variances in height were acceptable within the original planning permission.
But Babergh’s planning committee disagreed, stating in its reasons for refusal on Thursday: “The development has not been constructed in accordance with the permitted plans, and the variations cannot be interpreted as falling within the scope of the permission granted.”
It is understood that the developer is likely to appeal this latest decision.
Bures resident Clare Frewin, whose home is overlooked by the development, hopes the council has now moved closer to taking enforcement action, including the possibility of demolition.
“It’s not the end of the process, but it’s clear evidence that Babergh District Council is united in fighting it,” she said. “It’s another step in the right direction towards enforcement.”
Developer Stemar also lodged an appeal with the Government’s Planning Inspectorate against the decision to refuse planning permission on the homes at the end of last year.
It is expected that the rejected planning application will be subject to a formal inquiry, which will include a public hearing, later this year.