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Controversial bid for 100 homes in Acton, near Sudbury, include scout hut and affordable housing

PUBLISHED: 10:01 12 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:01 12 July 2017

The field off Barrow Hill in Acton which is earmarked for a 100-home development
Picture: EMMA BRENNAN

The field off Barrow Hill in Acton which is earmarked for a 100-home development Picture: EMMA BRENNAN

Archant

Plans for 100 homes in a west Suffolk village have been submitted, despite grave concerns over how the local infrastructure and will cope with the extra burden.

A charitable trust has applied for permission to develop farmland in Acton to create up to 100 houses as well as a scout hut and activity space.

The plans would see the currently unused agricultural land southeast of Barrow Hill redeveloped, alongside the demolition of one existing house, Beaulieu on High Street, to create access. A former proposal was rejected due to issues with access, which would have been via council allotments on Barrow Hill.

The planning statement, prepared on behalf of the Innominate Trust, claims Acton is in dire need of housing for first time buyers, affordable housing renters and elderly downsizers.

It states: “There is no viable alternative that provides a more sustainable development location.”

The trust claims that Babergh District Council’s lack of a five year housing supply means the council must grant permission, even if it is considered against local planning policies.

They said: “There are exceptional circumstances in this case, namely the fact that it is an affordable housing led scheme with significant community benefits in the form of the play space, scout hut with canoe storage and nature reserve.”

However local residents fear the current infrastructure in the village will not cope with several hundred extra residents.

Anne Gant, 79, who has lived in the village all her life said: “The sewage system struggles to cope as it is, the nearest GP surgery is in Long Melford and is already overloaded and the access will be on to the busy high street opposite two Grade II listed buildings.”

The plans will be discussed at a meeting of Acton Parish Council on Monday, July 17. Parish councillor Christine Johnson said she can not comment before the meeting, but believes local opinion will be largely against the plans.

One objector said the current application combined with plans for 1,150 homes at Chilton Woods would lead to a “massive increase in traffic”. They also said Barrow Hill was unsafe for pedestrians.

• The application is now open for comments. To view the plans go to planning.baberghmidsuffolk.gov.uk/online-applications/ quoting reference DC/17/0275

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