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Claydon residents losing patience

PUBLISHED: 19:01 18 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:22 03 March 2010

FRUSTRATED residents in Claydon are quickly losing patience with a controversial eyesore in their back yard.

The old chalk quarry near Claydon Heights was once earmarked for landscaping to provide a pleasant backdrop to the development.

FRUSTRATED residents in Claydon are quickly losing patience with a controversial eyesore in their back yard.

The old chalk quarry near Claydon Heights was once earmarked for landscaping to provide a pleasant backdrop to the development.

But today it is still lying untouched, partially flooded and untidy as developers Bellway Homes and Mid Suffolk District Council remain locked in planning dispute over an application to build another 21 homes there.

Disgruntled homeowners are doubly annoyed as the stalemate follows their accusations that plans for the public park area was used as a selling point when they were buying their properties.

Consequent investigations by trading standards officers partly backed their claims, concluding that Bellway's actions were misleading though not illegal. The damning report even suggested that the affected residents should receive compensation.

Stuart Millan, 29, is one who became so angry that he fired off a letter to the Essex managing director at Bellway Homes, Keith Haddrell, to complain about the state of the site in December.

"The pit still looks like a building site, not the landscaped area it is supposed to be," he wrote.

More than two months after this letter was written, the account manager for Virgin Money, who moved into his Hazel Rise home on the estate with wife Sarah in May 2000, has received no reply.

Now he fears that Mid Suffolk will cave in over the original planning condition that stated the area was to be landscaped.

"There are particular conditions as to what you allow. If that's a condition of that particular planning application then they have an obligation to see that those type of conditions are observed," he said.

Bellway argue that the change of mind was forced by new government directives calling for more building on brownfield sites.

A spokesman for Bellway said although Mr Haddrell was unavailable for comment, the company was sorting out with the council "a couple of technicalities" in its last application to build. He added that Bellway remained hopeful that work would start on the landscaped area as soon as permission was granted.

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