Opposition to housing plans in Framlingham ‘will not melt away’, vow campaigners
- Credit: Archant
The green light may have been given for a 95-home development on greenfield land in Framlingham, but the threat of 100 homes instead being built there still remains.
On Thursday, Suffolk Coastal councillors approved planning permission for the Mount Pleasant development, put forward by Persimmon Homes, after initially deferring the decision to seek legal advice on how any decision could influence two outstanding appeals.
It comes after the council refused a 100-home plan at the same site, also proposed by Persimmon, in February, and a 163-home development put forward for Fairfield Road by Taylor Wimpey. It came to light at the meeting that the council would be retracting its first reason for refusal – that the applications were unsustainable – after a barrister and independent planning consultant advised them there was insufficient evidence.
It was on these grounds of sustainability that campaigners wanted the 95-home plan refused, arguing that infrastructure would not be able to keep up with the increase in residents, with the two outstanding appeals and construction of 99 homes in Station Road by Hopkins Homes about to commence.
A council spokesperson said: “When the council refused planning permission, the reasons for refusal included the impact of a large-scale residential development in Framlingham on the town’s infrastructure.
“Our consultant’s report concludes that, on the facts as they are at present, there is no proper basis for arguing this to be the case. We were advised not to rely on this reason for refusal in the two appeals and we accepted that advice.
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“The council will amend its statement of case as soon as possible [and] continue to defend both appeals on the remaining reasons for refusal.
“The officer’s report and counsel’s advice will remain confidential. However, our consultant’s report can now be made public.”
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A statement released by the Framlingham Residents Association (FRAm), which publicly opposed both developments, said: “If SCDC, Persimmon or Taylor Wimpey think that opposition to Fairfield Road or Mount Pleasant’s application for 100 houses is simply going to melt away, they are mistaken. We are as determined as ever to fight for Framlingham.
“Yesterday’s was a bad decision that will definitely adversely affect Framlingham’s future.”