Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 0°C

Search

Rushmere St Andrew: Campaigners’ fears over woodland homes scheme

PUBLISHED: 08:45 22 February 2014

The commemorative woodland at Rushmere St Andrew

The commemorative woodland at Rushmere St Andrew

Archant

A group of charities seeking to develop housing on commemorative woodland in east Suffolk have been accused of “riding roughshod” over the community’s wishes.

Residents of Rushmere St Andrew fear the proposals to build 14 homes on land adjacent to The Street will erode the village’s separation with Ipswich and see the loss of a treasured community asset.

Barbara Robinson, a member of Save Our Country Spaces, claims more than 100 people from the village and surrounding area have planted trees on the site over the past 20 years, some of which held a “highly personal”, commemorative element.

“These people would feel really aggrieved that their efforts over the past 20 years would have been of no consequence at all,” she said.

Mrs Robinson has also highlighted the “interesting history” of the land and adjoining thatched cottage as grounds for preservation, referring to its “quintessentially rural landscape” and the horticultural enterprise devised by its former owners, the Baldwin family.

A spokesman for Knight Frank LLP, which submitted the application “on behalf of a number of charity beneficiaries”, said the company could find no evidence of the trees being commemorative.

“Nonetheless, we have carried out an arboricultural survey of the site and intend to preserve as many of the trees as possible,” they added.

The developers also say their designs respected the separation of the village from Ipswich in a style that is “in sympathy with the local vernacular”.

However, Mark Newton, a Suffolk Coastal district councillor for Rushmere, claims the vast majority of the village would disagree with those claims. “The community does not want the development or anything that would go towards eroding the separation that currently exists between Rushmere village and Ipswich borough,” he said. “We want the village to be maintained as a separate entity. The local authority has policies in place that are supposed to protect the open space between Ipswich and Rushmere.

“This particular developer seems to want to ride roughshod over those polices and obviously the residents are not in favour.”

Philip Richings, the chairman of Rushmere St Andrew Parish Council, which has recommended the application’s refusal, also acknowledged there was an “element of concern” over the commemorative trees.

“There may be an emotive side to it, but in law the charities are the owners and they can put in a planning application,” he added.

A decision is due by March 24.

Shane and Zoe Coldron were Chantry School childhood sweethearts. But unexpectedly Zoe, 44, collapsed and died last week. Her husband Shane has spoken about how the family is coping, plus the overwhelming support he has received.

East Anglia’s rail services faced a day of chaos as the morning storm brought trees down across several routes.

Broadcasting group Celador faces a rival bidder for the renewal of the Ipswich commercial radio licence which it acquired last year.

Two vehicles have collided on the B1078 this afternoon between Clopton and Charsfield.

Suffolk police received 680 calls in five hours during the high winds this morning - 600% more than in a usual day.

Reporter Gemma Mitchell has compiled a varied but by no means exhaustive list of influential women who have made their mark in Suffolk, from business and charity leaders, to educators and campaigners.

Major traffic disruption and storm damage is being reported across the region today as gusts of up to 80mph were recorded in Suffolk and north Essex.

A Suffolk woman has told of the part she played in forcing The Sun to scrap Page 3 topless women.

Body positivity is a term that is bandied about a lot at the moment and that can make it sound flippant, unimportant and self indulgent, writes Kate Dickinson.

An MP has told parliament 20 people died in instances when ambulances arrived late to emergencies in East Anglia during a spell of intense pressure over the Christmas period.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24