Bures St Mary residents condemn planning process as developer submits further appeals into controversial housing development
Villagers have condemned the planning process around a controversial housing development in Bures St Mary, as the developer lodges further appeals to try to keep all six homes standing.
Babergh District Council green-lit three retrospective applications on four of the partly-built houses on Cuckoo Hill in August, but issued demolition notices on the remaining two, stating they breached the conditions of the original permission granted in 2015.
Only a year earlier, the council’s planning committee refused a retrospective application for all six homes at the former slaughterhouse site, leading developer Stemar to lodge an appeal with the planning inspectorate, which is still set to go ahead.
The developer now intends to appeal the separate applications on the approved plots one to four, stating it wants a decision made for the entire site, while also seeking to block the demolition notices on the fifth and sixth plots.
This means the start date of November 26 for the planning inquiry has been postponed.
Opponents campaigning against the development confirmed they plan to give evidence on behalf of the community when the inquiry takes place.
Bures resident Clare Frewin, whose family’s home is overlooked by the development, told the Free Press the community is in disbelief that Babergh District Council could approve houses it had rejected in 2018 on grounds of significant harm to neighbouring properties.
“Contradicting the previous decision, it can only have been approved to appease a developer that is now appealing it anyway,” she said.
“I cannot begin to estimate the officer time, legal fees and associated costs that have been spent to date, never mind the hours the local community has spent researching and questioning, just to understand what is going on. Local opinion has been ignored, and concerns raised by Bures St Mary Parish Council have been dismissed.”
A spokeswoman for Babergh District Council said: “We will publicise the new date for the inquiry as soon as it’s known. In the meantime, the council continues to defend its position.”
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More by this authorThomas Malina