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Town leaders voice disappointment over Persimmon's legal challenge of Bell Lane homes decision

PUBLISHED: 16:03 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:03 13 December 2017

The land at Bell Lane, Kesgrave, which is the subject of negotiations to assemble a site capable of taking around 300 homes. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The land at Bell Lane, Kesgrave, which is the subject of negotiations to assemble a site capable of taking around 300 homes. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Community leaders have expressed their disappointment after developers behind plans to build 300 homes in Kesgrave have launched a legal challenge into the findings of an appeal.

In June last year, Suffolk Coastal District Council’s planning committee rejected an application from Persimmon Homes to build 300 homes off Bell Lane in Kesgrave, with oversubscribed schools and transport issues among those cited.

Persimmon lodged an appeal against the decision, which was held by the Planning Inspectorate in August, and in October it was ruled by the secretary of state that the appeal had been dismissed.

Now, it has emerged a legal challenge into the way the appeal was conducted has been lodged by Persimmon, making a High Court appearance likely in 2018.

Robert Whiting, Suffolk county councillor for Kesgrave, said: “I can fully understand how Kesgrave residents and existing service providers will be concerned and disappointed to learn that the developer has chosen to go to the next stage.

“In my opinion, it is critical that due consideration must be given to the strategic infrastructure requirements in this area and their relationship to and with, existing communities. By this, I mean, not just the road network and the provision of school places but also the capacity at medical and welfare facilities, as well as the whole question of adequate drainage.”

The legal challenge was submitted on November 24, with developers stating that the inspectorate “failed to give intelligible and adequate reasons in assessing housing supply”, a “misunderstanding” of sustainable issues and the inspector acting “procedurally unfairly” during the appeal.

Martin Davidson, land director for Persimmon Homes Anglia, said: “I can confirm that a legal challenge has been lodged with regard to the inspector’s decision issued in respect of our appeal into the refusal by Suffolk Coastal District Council of our application for 300 dwellings at Bell Lane, Kesgrave.

“The grounds for this challenge are clearly stated in our submitted representation, and we have no further comments to make at this time.”

Kesgrave Town Council chairman Neal Beecroft-Smith added that the town council “fully supports” the decision by the secretary of state.

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