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Quarry site homes to go ahead

PUBLISHED: 00:14 29 May 2002 | UPDATED: 12:00 03 March 2010

HOMES will be built on a former quarry site in Claydon despite fierce objections from villagers.

They staged a long-running campaign against Bellway Homes extending the desirable Claydon Heights development by 21 homes on land residents believed would be landscaped.

HOMES will be built on a former quarry site in Claydon despite fierce objections from villagers.

They staged a long-running campaign against Bellway Homes extending the desirable Claydon Heights development by 21 homes on land residents believed would be landscaped.

It first appeared their wish was granted after Mid-Suffolk Coastal District Council refused the go-head after an application from the Chelmsford based developers.

But after an independent report revealed the decision would be overturned on appeal the councillors reluctantly gave the all clear.

Objector Paul Skirrow, of Willow Close, 36, was shocked to hear the news. "I am very disappointed.

"Certainly it was my understanding that there was a promise to people who bought from Bellway that it would be landscaped."

Wildlife enthusiast Tim Haywood > of Hazel Rise, in his 40's, argued it was an important site which would be lost to future generations.

"From a personal point of view I am very upset about it. I am not an eco-warrior but it is so critical that we look after our natural environment and understand it."

He said the range of issues brought up by the council has been traffic, flooding, safety and open space, which has always been technical issues which could be resolved.

But the site also has wildlife and geological value. "The chalk quarry is unusual in this part of Suffolk has potential for unusual habitat type. Due to the geology of the area if left to regenerate the species would in time expand and diversify.

"It has the potential to become a good wildlife area and the school would have had a nature reserve on their doorstep.

"The quarry floor would become during the spring and summer months a carpet of wild flowers.

"Once the semi-natural area is replaced with bricks, concrete, tarmac and manicured gardens with amenity grass there is no going back and another important patch of green space would be lost to posterity and future generations."

He said an environmental Impact Assessment was carried out on the site after the quarry floor was covered in top-soil so for that reason was unlikely to find anything of interest.

Tony Ferris, District Councillor for Claydon, who was strongly opposed to the development of three, four and five bedroom homes reluctantly withdraw his objections.

As Bellway Homes were going to lodge an appeal the council appointed three consultants to look at its defence which proved to be weak as all the issues could be resolved.

"I am still not happy. I didn't think it was the ideal place to build houses but expert opinion said all the problems would be resolved."

He added there were benefits.

Bellway Homes are to pay a fee to Suffolk County Council education department because of the increase in numbers of school pupils that new homes sites bring.

The developers would contribute towards a new community centre in Claydon and would pay a substantial amount towards children's play equipment.


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