A councillor has been removed from the planning committee hearing the controversial Sudbury Belle Vue development plans.

It comes after it was revealed that a document showing "an earlier alternative layout for the site" was passed among some members of the committee.

The document in question was dated from August 2020.

The meeting was adjourned on Wednesday August 10.

A statement from Babergh District Council said: "During a planning committee meeting on Wednesday 10 August, a document that was not part of the planning papers was seen to be passed between some members of the committee.

"The meeting was immediately adjourned so we could investigate any procedural irregularities.

"While we recognise the frustration this caused for all parties, we must – as the planning authority – ensure that any decision reached over the application for the construction of 41 retirement living apartments at Belle Vue, Sudbury, and the conversion and restoration of Belle Vue House, is fair, transparent, and legally sound.

"The document shared between some members was a feasibility plan showing an earlier alternative layout for the site – however, this dates from 2020 and does not form any part of the application before the committee.

"The monitoring officer has conducted a thorough investigation, including one-to-one interviews with every member of the planning committee.

"We are now satisfied that the integrity of the committee has not been compromised and those members of the committee who saw the document accept that it is not material to the application before them.

"One committee member has, however, been removed from the committee until further training on the planning process can be provided.

This means the application can now be rescheduled to be heard by the committee in full.

"Because of the high level of public interest and our desire to be fully transparent, we propose the application is heard in the council chamber at Endeavour House, where it can also be livestreamed – and the livestream recorded – for those unable to attend in person.

"We expect this to take place as soon as possible in September. As always, the meeting will be publicised, and papers published in advance."