Decision made on controversial plans for up to 105 homes in Sproughton
PUBLISHED: 15:12 07 October 2020
Controversial plans for up to 105 homes in Sproughton which attracted more than 300 objections have been narrowly approved.
Babergh District Council’s planning committee meeting on Wednesday voted six votes to five in favour of approving the application by Pigeon and the Felix Thornley Cobbold Agricultural Trust to build 92 homes and provide 13 self-build plots off Burtsall Lane.
The proposals were for outline permission on the homes but full planning permission for a new spine road connecting Burstall Lane and Loraine Way, and also included outline permission for new community woodland space and the village car park being moved.
But the plans, despite being recommended for approval, attracted a swathe of opposition including 335 locals, a petition featuring 240 signatures against, and objections from several parish councils – including Sproughton Parish Council – the ward councillor Zac Norman and county councillor Christopher Hudson.
However, it was felt that there were not enough planning reasons to turn down the proposals.
Rob Snowling, associate director at Pigeon, said that the firm had undertaken extensive engagement with the community through two public exhibitions and several meetings with the parish council since lodging the plans in February 2019.
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He added: “We acknowledge the scheme represents change but firmly believe that its high quality landscape led design provision of new homes, and particularly family market homes and bungalows, extensive open space provision together with a comprehensive package of community benefits will make a long-lasting positive addition to the community of Sproughton.”
The developers said the new spine road would divert some congestion away from the junction close to the Wild Man Pub, and deliver other road improvements including revisions at the B1113 Beagle roundabout.
It is expected to be largely two and three bedroom properties, likely to include around 10 bungalows, with 37 homes in total being designated as affordable.
But a host of concerns were raised over the plans, including impact on the nearby views, the further creeping of the village boundary towards Bramford, and feelings that the proposed traffic measures would not make a difference.
Helen Davies from the parish council said: “This heritage-rich rural edge has been treasured by the village and remained untouched for several hundred years,” while Rhona Jermyn from the Sproughton Working Group added that the development would be just 512 metres away from the edge of development in Bramford.
Ward councillor Zac Norman said: “The community, ever since hearing about this application, has been very unsettled,” and added: “It would set quite a dangerous precedent and could ruin what people love about the village.”
County councillor Christopher Hudson said the village has been “absolutely overwhelmed” in recent years, citing the cumulative impacts of development on additional traffic and loss of green space.
The developers must come forward with another application on the final details for the homes before work can begin, with work anticipated to begin on the site in 2022/23.
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