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Suffolk Preservation Society warns ‘mass house building scars our county’

PUBLISHED: 07:05 27 June 2017

Fiona Cairns, director of Suffolk Preservation Society, which has warned of the effects of mass housing. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Fiona Cairns, director of Suffolk Preservation Society, which has warned of the effects of mass housing. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Archant

Mass house building and poorly-designed developments are threatening Suffolk’s “unique beauty”, a leading heritage charity has warned.

The Suffolk Preservation Society (SPS), which aims to protect the county’s heritage buildings and landscapes, made the claims after hearing from a range of influential delegates at its annual general meeting.

Lord Marlesford, the society’s president, acknowledged there were difficulties accommodating homes in rural areas.

However he added: “I feel that the quality of their design to be vital – not only for those living in them but for what they brought to the character and appearance of Suffolk.

“Bad design is false economy.”

The meeting, held recently at the Guildhall in Lavenham, also heard from charity director Fiona Cairns, who outlined achievements including the society’s track-record of having a positive influence on more than three quarters of “heritage” planning proposals it commented on over the past year.

“The society certainly continues to punch above its weight - both in its delivery of comment in heritage planning and in supporting other organisations engaged to do the same ensuring that developments in Suffolk are good places to live, and not eyesores,” she added.

“Over the last 12 months we have hosted informative workshops in heritage training for parish and town councillors and organised excellent lecture events in historic homes for members’ interest.”

The charity’s concerns that “mass house building scars our county”, echo some of the issues raised previously by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

While acknowledging the need to deliver more housing in rural areas, the CPRE said it is “essential to minimise sporadic development in the countryside and the unsustainable sprawl of our towns and cities”. The CPRE has urged planning authorities to make better use of brownfield sites, which it claims council provide sites for at least 960,000 new homes.

In Suffolk, the SPS says it is increasing the support it gives to community groups concerned about inappropriate planning as well as encouraging developers and councils to build the right buildings in the right places and ensure they are built well.

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