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Packed public meeting shows strength of opposition to controversial 114 homes plan

PUBLISHED: 13:17 28 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:59 28 February 2019

About 175 people turned up for the first public meeting organised by the working group against the development, Burstall Lane. Picture: RHONA JERMYN

About 175 people turned up for the first public meeting organised by the working group against the development, Burstall Lane. Picture: RHONA JERMYN

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A community has united in their opposition to a potential 2,000 homes being built in Suffolk's countryside.

The meeting let residents know how to oppose the development, one of eight that could see 2,000 homes built around Sproughton, west of Ipswich Picture: RHONA JERMYNThe meeting let residents know how to oppose the development, one of eight that could see 2,000 homes built around Sproughton, west of Ipswich Picture: RHONA JERMYN

The Sproughton Working Group has formed in recent weeks to oppose the latest development application for the village and there was an overwhelming show of support at their inaugural meeting yesterday.

The plans, the latest of eight application submitted for the area, would see 114 homes built next to Burstall Lane and were submitted this month by Pigeon Land 2 Ltd and The Felix Thornley Cobbold Agricultural Trust.

Pigeon Land 2 claims that the proposed scheme would bring affordable housing, land for offices and employment opportunities as there would also be a new nursery. Land is set aside to extend the grounds of the Wild Man and create a new pub garden as well as a new village green and an enhanced allotment.

But Sproughton Working Group member Rhona Jermyn has said the development is “one too many”.

The latest site in Sproughton earmarked for development, this time for 114 homes. Picture: GOOGLE MAPSThe latest site in Sproughton earmarked for development, this time for 114 homes. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

She said: “The meeting was absolutely packed and we had an amazing response.

“At one point the chairman of Burstall Parish Council asked if anyone in the room was in favour of the development, and I think everyone just laughed.

“It doesn’t make sense to build these houses if there is not a market for these and there are houses out there to fill.”

She added: “On top of that the village allotment needs moving and a cricket pitch will go in its place.”

“The soil for that allotment is full of vegetable matter, it’s designed to be an allotment and some people have had patches there for over 40 years - and it’s on a slope. That’s not going to work for a cricket pitch.”

Those at the meeting were given advice on how to air their grievances, with directions on how to comment on the plans on the Babergh and Mid Suffolk planning site.

Developers are still awaiting permission for 54 properties by Hopkins Homes, 195 on the land east of Loraine Way and The Street and an estimated 500-1,000 properties at Chantry Vale. There are also applications for sites in Sproughton and Bramford.

Already under construction along the Gipping Valley are 30 homes in Church Lane and a 475-property development at the Wolsey Grange development near the Holiday Inn. The site is both a within a Natural England National Character Area, with means special consideration has to be made before development of the land can take place.

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