Plans to build on site of King Edmund's death rejected following outcry from residents
A planning application to build a number of new homes near the site where King Edmund is believed to have been murdered has been thrown out after outcry from villagers.
The plans, which would have seen four new homes constructed on the historic site, were refused by Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning committee last week.
The land, to the east of Abbey Hill in Hoxne, is believed to be the spot where King Edmund, the original patron saint of England and ruler of East Anglia, was beheaded by Danish invaders after he refused to denounce his Christian faith. The site features a Grade-II listed monument in his memory.
Hoxne resident Alison Carter was one of a number of villagers who opposed the move, arguing the area should be preserved due to its historical significance.
“There are many other spaces around the edge of the village, including a field almost opposite that could be a potential site for affordable homes,” said Ms Carter, of Green Street.
“This is a historic site. It has never been built upon because previous generations have recognised this.
“St Edmund is a historic figure in Suffolk and, therefore, his monument should be acknowledged as such, not sandwiched into sight lines between houses.”
Jill Williams, of Church Close in Hoxne, called the plans “wholly inappropriate”, adding that the site marked the mid-point of Hoxne, separating each half of the village.
“This is a site of huge historical importance as it is home to the monument to St Edmund, marking the spot where he was allegedly martyred. It is also a place of great natural beauty,” she said.
“The fields and surrounding area separate the two ‘halves’ of Hoxne, a feature that not many villages can boast.
“While I agree that we need more affordable new-builds, this development definitely does not come into that category.
“There would be other areas in the village that could easily accommodate new housing; this site is wholly inappropriate.”
The application, put forward by Danny Ward Builders, proposed two four-bedroom homes and two three-bedroom homes.
Lavinia Hadingam, vice-chairman of Mid Suffolk District Council’s development control committee, said the authority had rejected the plans after listening to the objections of residents.
She said: “We want to ensure the right properties are built in the right places in mid Suffolk and, after much deliberation, our committee reached a decision that this development would not fulfil this aim, reflecting the view of many Hoxne residents.
“A lot of local residents who wrote to our committee said they weren’t happy with it – and we have to listen to them.
“The reason we didn’t give permission is due to the scale and appearance of the plans, which were right in front of the monument. They would have completely ruined the view.
“This monument is what Hoxne is known for – it’s a part of history that is so local to us.”