Fight to continue for Gislingham group opposing 40-home plan for village

Gislingham residents outside St Mary's Church, during their day of protest against a 40-home outline planning application. ANL-150505-143907001

Gislingham residents outside St Mary's Church, during their day of protest against a 40-home outline planning application. ANL-150505-143907001

  • Guardians of Gislingham chairman says refusal was ‘hollow victory’
  • Says fight will continue as appeal is lodged
  • “Ultimately the village is our primary concern” says chairman
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The chair of a group aiming to halt a 40-homes plan in Gislingham says they will “continue to fight” after an appeal was lodged against its refusal.

The Guardians of Gislingham group was formed in April in direct response to the outline planning application, earmarked for land to the rear of West View Gardens. It had been submitted by Essex-based land promoters New Hall Properties.

Eric Sheehan, chairman of the Guardians of Gislingham group, addresses a packed village hall on April 13. ANL-150414-151438001

Eric Sheehan, chairman of the Guardians of Gislingham group, addresses a packed village hall on April 13. ANL-150414-151438001

Eric Sheehan, chairman of the group, told the Diss Express: “We were optimistic, but realistic as well. We knew that there was an appeal which was going to be lodged pretty soon afterwards.

“The decision to refuse was not on the criteria we thought it would be based on, so we were deflated. Although it was a victory, it was a hollow victory.

“We are acting on behalf of those in the village who don’t want this.

“If you look at the history of Gislingham we have seen some sensible planning decisions but we have seen some very controversial ones, such as Chapel Farm.

The decision to refuse was not on the criteria we thought it would be based on, so we were deflated

Eric Sheehan

“Ultimately the village is our primary concern and it is the residents that have voiced their objections.”

In the decision notice, Mid Suffolk District Council said the proposal had “failed” to make adequate provisions or contributions to provide for the community, as well as other facilities and services for the occupants of the proposed homes.

It added the applicants had not entered in to the “necessary legal agreement”, which is required to ensure affordable housing provision, and financial contributions to local amenities. An appeal was lodged with the authority in September.

Concerns raised by the group include building on a greenfield site, that the application was outside the settlement boundary, and the lack of need.

Land where a planning application had been put in for 40 homes in Gislingham ANL-150204-085132009

Land where a planning application had been put in for 40 homes in Gislingham ANL-150204-085132009

For more information on the Guardians of Gislingham group, see www.guardiansofgislingham.org.uk