Villagers' fury over garden threat

FURIOUS villagers are up-in-arms today after learning their gardens may soon be slashed in half.Plans for a new affordable housing scheme in Brantham would see some home-owners being forced to give up the land at the back of their gardens so the new development can be built.

FURIOUS villagers are up-in-arms today after learning their gardens may soon be slashed in half.

Plans for a new affordable housing scheme in Brantham would see some home-owners being forced to give up the land at the back of their gardens so the new development can be built.

Currently this land is owned by Babergh District Council and is leased to the villagers for free, but if the Orwell Housing Association scheme to build seven homes in the land between Brantham Hill, Palfrey Heights and Sycamore Way gets the go-ahead that will all change.

Joan Lawrance, 80, who has lived on Brantham Hill with her husband Charles for 58 years, said: “It's absolutely devastating. We have raspberry canes and blackberry plants in the garden. We love our garden - like most people in the country do.

“Everyone is really upset about it. We don't want houses in our back garden.

“People will be able to look in our windows.”

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And Jeff Abbott, who also lives on Brantham Hill, added: “I've lived here over thirty years and for us it's devastating. We've got a garage and that would be part of the new houses.”

Orwell Housing Association's plans to build the affordable houses are currently still in the initial-stages and a planning application has yet to be submitted.

If it does get permission it will see five three-bedroom and two two-bedroom homes built as well as parking spaces created.

Greg Dodds, new business manager with Orwell Housing Association, said: “We're at a very early stage.

“Brantham Parish Council has been pushing for affordable housing for some time and we're trying to identify the site.

“It will involve land Babergh District Council owns and some under-used garage blocks.

“Babergh District Council is trying to make to most of its assets and we're working with them to provide homes.

“There are always issues with developing homes and this is amongst existing houses so it was always going to cause problems. But we're being open about the plans and talking to residents.”

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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