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Decision made on Glemsford homes which gained more than 400 objections

PUBLISHED: 12:03 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:25 19 June 2019

The land to the west of Low Street in Glemsford where a planning application was submitted for 101 homes and 35 retirement apartments. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The land to the west of Low Street in Glemsford where a planning application was submitted for 101 homes and 35 retirement apartments. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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Plans for 136 homes in Glemsford dubbed "unacceptable" and "inappropriate" have been refused after hundreds of people objected.

Peter Beer said the committee was not convinced by the proposals. Picture: JAMIE HONEYWOODPeter Beer said the committee was not convinced by the proposals. Picture: JAMIE HONEYWOOD

Nearly 430 objectors raised concerns over the plans for 101 homes and 35 retirement apartments planned for land west of Low Street.

The application by EJL Landholdings Ltd was recommended for refusal by planning officers following a string of objections, including from statutory bodies such as Historic England.

It said there would be "considerable harm" to the nearby listed buildings, including the Grade 1 Church of St Mary, while the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty management also raised issues.

At Tuesday's Babergh District Council planning committee, the outline plans were unanimously rejected.

Brian Stephens, who gave a representation on behalf of Glemsford Parish Council, said: "We consider the location to be totally inappropriate for housing.

"The site is presently rolling agricultural land and has a commanding view of the valley. It's adjacent to the most prized parts of Glemsford's conservation area."

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Mr Stephens said it would have a "seriously detrimental" effect on the land and had "serious safety concerns" over the proposed entrance to the estate, which is on a hill and only just within a 30mph zone.

A spokeswoman from Glemsford Residents Group said it would have a "significant and unacceptable" impact on the listed buildings nearby.

Among the reasons for rejection as well as the impact on the listed buildings and AONB were the inability for the nearby primary school to expand, highways access fears, and the lack of an archaeological survey.

Agents on behalf of the applicant said the plans had been revised since the original submission, and provided a broad range of homes.

Addressing the impact on listed buildings, a spokesman said: "The scale of that harm has been overstated by consultees. Most aspects would remain unchanged and unaffected."

It is not yet clear whether the developers will attempt to appeal the decision, or come back with a revised application at a later date in a bid to get the homes through.

Councillor Peter Beer, chairman of Babergh District Council's planning committee, said: "As you would expect for such a large development, a lot of information was put before the committee and members considered it all carefully.

"However the fact is the applicant failed to convince the committee on several points, with concerns around scale, harm to the valued landscape and special landscape area, unsustainable impact on the village's primary school and lack of an archaeological evaluation all going unaddressed. As a result the committee felt it had no choice but to refuse permission."

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