Appeal dismissed over 49 homes refusal in Suffolk village
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An appeal by developers over the refusal of 49 homes in Sproughton has been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate, after it was considered the harm to nearby historic buildings would not be outweighed by the public benefits.
Hopkins Homes has brought forward proposals to build homes off Loraine Way on three occasions - one for 64 homes a few years ago and revised plans for 54 properties rejected last year.
The latest incarnation for 49 dwellings was refused by Babergh District Council's planning committee in October, with councillors consistently raising concerns over the impact it would have on nearby Grade II Listed buildings.
Hopkins Homes launched an appeal, but the Planning Inspectorate on Tuesday dismissed the appeal.
Inspector Zoe Raygen in her report said: "The public benefits do not outweigh the harm I have found to the heritage assets."
Sproughton Parish Council and the neighbourhood plan working group, which have both vociferously objected to proposals there, said it was a common sense decision.
Helen Davies from the parish council said: "Sproughton Parish Council are delighted with the planning inspector's decision to dismiss the Hopkins Homes appeal.
"A request will now be made to Babergh to remove this site from the [emerging] joint local plan. The Hopkins Homes site was a late addition to the joint local plan - Babergh added this site without any public, district councillor or parish council consultation."
Rhona Jermyn, who chairs the neighbourhood plan working group, added: "It is a common-sense decision which recognises that, whilst new homes have to be built, there are places which have a unique character and heritage which must be preserved and protected from unsuitable development. This is entirely in line with what our community have told us time and again during the neighbourhood plan process."
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It is not yet clear if the developers will lodge a fresh application for the site with revised proposals.
Simon Bryan, development director of Hopkins Homes, said: “We are disappointed by the inspectorate’s decision and will carefully consider the points raised.
“There is a critical shortage of houses both locally and nationally, and these revised plans had been recommended for approval by Babergh District Council’s planning officers who praised the development for including bungalows, as well as providing 17 affordable homes, and our efforts to address local concerns.”
Councillor Peter Beer, chairman of Babergh District Council's planning committee said the authority was there to ensure acceptable homes were developed.
"Our planning committee welcomes the decision made by the secretary of state to dismiss the appeal lodged by Hopkins Homes," he said.
"We remain committed to ensuring that the right properties are built in the right places in Babergh - and after much consideration our committee reached a decision that this application was not acceptable.
"The amendments made to the applicant's proposal still failed to address our committee's concerns about the potential harm of this particular scheme to surrounding listed buildings, a view supported by the independent planning inspector in their report."