Gislingham villagers form group in bid to stop 40 homes plan

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

Concerned Gislingham residents with fears over an outline planning application for 40 homes have formed a group in a bid to stop the plans being given the green light.

The outline planning application has been submitted for a residential development, off Thornham Road, on agricultural land to the rear of West View Gardens, by Essex-based land promoters New Hall Properties.

The Guardians of Gislingham held their first public meeting on Monday at a packed village hall.

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

Eric Sheehan, chairman of the group, praised the “better than expected” turnout.

“The driving force really is to stop this initial development, because we think it is unsustainable,” he said. “Beyond that, it is actually to provide some guidance or sense of help to the residents. If they want to do some more planning which is sustainable and more in-keeping then great.

“We can provide that resource as well, as we have done the research.

“We are not about blocking everything entirely; we are about saying ‘hang on a second, put the brakes on, let’s slow it down’, put some control around this and give people in the village what they want.”

Ways to conduct a campaign against the application, as well as what the plan of action was, were discussed.

District councillor Diana Kearsley and parish council chairman Christopher Pitt were also in attendance. Mr Pitt said the council was “entirely supportive” of the group.