Gislingham expresses ‘overwhelming’ opposition to 40-home development

Land where a planning application has been put in for 40 homes in Gislingham ANL-150204-085144009
Land where a planning application has been put in for 40 homes in Gislingham ANL-150204-085144009

Gislingham Parish Council has unanimously voted to object to plans for 40 new homes just outside the village’s boundary.

An 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.

Parish Council chairman Chris Pitt said building on a greenfield site and outside the settlement boundary were the main cause for objections.

“The Parish Council is really responding to a great wave of objections from the village to the outline planning application,” he said. “The most recent survey we did was a parish plan done about four years ago when overwhelmingly people did not want any future development in Gislingham at all.

“Trying to absorb that number of homes and people would be incredibly difficult.”

Mr Pitt added that the The Paddocks development in the village at Chapel Farm, Mill Street, for 24 homes which was successful on appeal, had still not yet been finished or the homes sold.

Mid Suffolk District Council currently does not have a five-year housing supply approved for new homes, meaning rural communities could be put at risk of unwanted developments.

The parish council, in consultee comments to Mid Suffolk District Council, objected to the plans because of its location outside the settlement boundary, that the land is on a greenfield site which has been used for agriculture for many years, and “no established local need”.

“Gislingham has seen significant growth in the past 20 years,” the comment read. “This has not been matched by improvements to services and infrastructure, in fact quite the opposite.

“If this application is approved there is nothing to stop wholesale use (and abuse) of greenfield sites across the district making a significant impact on the rural nature of Mid Suffolk and changing its character irrevocably.”

A spokesman on behalf of New Hall Properties said: “Gislingham has been identified in MSDC’s Core Strategy as a Primary Village and is regarded as a sustainable location for housing growth.

“Mid Suffolk currently does not have a five year housing land supply and as such National Policy calls for sustainable sites to be granted permission without delay.

“Although the site is outside the settlement boundary it can be seen as a logical extension to Gislingham.

“Due to the rural nature of Suffolk greenfield sites such as this will need to come forward to contribute to the five-year supply.”

Of 82 public comments on the application, only one supports the plans, while two are neutral.

n The application, 0294/15, can be viewed at the Mid Suffolk District Council planning portal by visiting http://planningpages.midsuffolk.gov.uk/online-applications

n What do you think? Email editorial@dissexpress.co.uk