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Community celebrates after retrospective planning application is refused by council

Villagers from Bures turned up in their numbers to hear the planning meeting at Endeavour House in Ipswich Picture: JOHN EVANS

Villagers from Bures turned up in their numbers to hear the planning meeting at Endeavour House in Ipswich Picture: JOHN EVANS

Archant

Residents of a west Suffolk village are celebrating after the council refused a retrospective planning application following a row over the height of new homes.

The Frewin family in Bures Picture: CONTRIBUTEDThe Frewin family in Bures Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Villagers in Bures, near Sudbury, have been protesting the controversial six-home development on Cuckoo Hill after claims that houses are being built taller than originally specified.

Residents – who turned up en masse to the meeting of Babergh District Council’s planning committee – feel that not enough enforcement action has been taken over the homes at the former slaughterhouse site.

An independent survey, commissioned by villagers, found a height difference of 2.6 meters (8.5ft) from the original plans.

The developer then submitted a new planning application to vary the height of the development, but that application was unanimously refused by the’s council’s planning committee yesterday.

Residents are concerned about the height of six homes in Bures Picture: JAMES FREWINResidents are concerned about the height of six homes in Bures Picture: JAMES FREWIN

Claire and James Frewin, whose Grade II-listed house is overlooked by the development, say the homes dominate their property.

Following the decision, Mr Frewin said: “We’re very happy with the decision from the council, it’s been a long time coming, there’s been a lot of background work and a lot of people involved.

“It’s just good to see that Babergh is actually supporting the people who live within their parishes.”

Mrs Frewin said: “The planning permission was put in there for a reason and it’s important that it’s followed - and that’s what people’s concern in Bures has been.”

Barrister Kevin Leigh, of No.5 Barristers Chambers, who is representing the developer - The Stemar Group, called for a deferral or a split decision to allow four of the homes in the development.

But councillors voted against a deferral after it was proposed during the two and a half hour meeting.

Mr Leigh claims council officers have made a mistake with measurements on the plans, and will now be forced to appeal the decision.

He said: “The developer is saddened that the local authority turned down an opportunity to have a sensible discussion whether it’s for a month or so, it’s only at my client’s cost.

“It’s very clear the officer has made a fundamental mistake in the measuring of drawings.

“My client isn’t here to offend people. Permission was granted in 2015 and we’ve built according to it. They {Babergh} didn’t attach any relevant conditions.

“We’re now going to have to rapidly run ahead towards an appeal.”

Peter Beer, chairman of Babergh District Council’s planning committee, said: “This wasn’t a decision made lightly, and the committee spent over two hours considering the application.

“After long discussion the committee unanimously agreed to refuse permission – the changes being requested were too great a departure from the original permission in 2015, and the work done already too great a breach of that permission.

“The matter will now be passed to our planning enforcement team, who will consider which enforcement powers would be most appropriate in Bures.”

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