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Decision made on latest Sproughton homes application

PUBLISHED: 19:00 18 April 2019

Land eyed for 54 homes in Sproughton by Hopkins Homes. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Land eyed for 54 homes in Sproughton by Hopkins Homes. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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A community being inundated with applications for hundreds of homes has expressed relief after one set of proposals was turned down.

Homes along the Sproughton and Bramford corridor in the Gipping Valley have been campaigning against the vast numbers of planning applications coming forward, as developers aim to take advantage of the land's proximity to Ipswich and the A14.

On Wednesday, April 17, an application by Hopkins Homes for 54 homes off Bramford Road in Sproughton was rejected by Babergh District Council's planning committee over concerns on the impact it could have on heritage assets.

A spokeswoman from Sproughton Working Group, which gave a representation at the committee, said: “We believe that the committee in turning down the application made the correct decision for the right reasons, despite their officers' recommendation that the plan could be approved.

“The fragile heritage and landscape of our historic village was recognised and the harm that this development would cause was judged greater than any benefit it would bring and doubts were expressed about flooding and ecology issues as well.

“Also, Sproughton could not be expected to carry such a large part of Babergh District Council's demand for new housing particularly as the village was contributing significantly elsewhere in the parish.

“As observers along with a majority of councillors it would appear, we were left with the feeling that a more cohesive review of the cumulative impact of growth along the Gipping Valley corridor was needed and that the impact on infrastructure, sustainability and suitability had been seriously misunderstood and overlooked.”

Among the assets of concern were Sproughton Hall, Tithe Barn and Root Barn, as well as the loss of view across the site to the Church of All Saints.

A spokeswoman from Sproughton Parish Council said: “The committee acknowledged the impact of the development on the adjacent historic buildings and landscape and made reference to the cumulative impact of proposed development along the Gipping corridor.

“We believe a masterplan for the area is required so that the cumulative impact and need can be properly assessed.

“The parish council is not against development in principle but feel that it should be proportionate, sustainable and sympathetic to the area.”

The plans attracted 65 objections from members of the public.

Simon Bryan, development director for Hopkins Homes, said: “This application was submitted in May last year since which we have undertaken extensive dialogue with the council and local stakeholders.

“Based on their comments, and consideration to the local listed buildings we significantly changed our plans, reducing the number of houses from 64 to 54.

“There are a number of new proposals in the local area at the moment, with our proposal being the smallest of these.

“Given this work, our flexibility in working with the local community and the recommendation from planning officers to approve our plans, we are incredibly disappointed by the committee's decision.”

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