The above application was deferred some months ago in order for an independent highway report to be commissioned and for a site visit to take place.

The report is now available for public comment and we would urge you to look at the report on the Babergh planning portal- planning application DC/20/00330 scroll down to the highway report.

In summary the report says that:

  • The introduction of a footpath in the road plus 4 dedicated parking bays alongside the frontage of Greenbanks will not create worse conditions than that which exist already. The available road width will be reduced for a length of 15m at the most restricted section giving rise to permanent one way working at this point.
  • The proposed path does not meet minimum national standards, in particular for pushchair use, but neither do other footpaths in Boxford.
  • The report takes the view that although pedestrians using the footpath from the development site (and Brook Hall road estate and Cox Hill) would have to cross the road twice to avail themselves of the new path, that is better than walking in the road.
  • A proportion of traffic from the proposed development would use Swan Street to access destinations to the north of Boxford.
  • The conclusion in the report confirms that any additional demand on Swan Street is unacceptable due to the precedent set by the recent appeal decision.

The report is silent on the known issues at the junction of Sand Hill with Cox Hill, disregards the issue of onward visibility needed for vehicles, shows no knowledge of Ellis Street as the route for extra wide and long agricultural vehicles requiring access to Cox Hill and lacks an understanding of the natural pedestrian route to and from the village.

We also contend that the report is wrong in its assertion that a continuous path is being provided and is wrong to accept a below standard footpath width which would not ordinarily be accepted elsewhere as a consequence of a large scale development. The report does not appreciate that reducing the road width at the pinch point will undoubtedly cause reversing by drivers. The report confirms our view that the additional traffic generated from the proposed development will place more demand on Swan Street.

Our draft Neighbourhood Plan is based on small scale development, the preservation of our conservation area and the supply of housing for local needs not an unsustainable urban development that offers no benefits to the village and ignores Boxford’s obvious highway constraints. The highway proposal will give rise to the need to introduce a priority system for vehicles with attendant signage and, together with urban materials to secure the bank at Greenbanks, will harm the conservation area and add to the parking difficulties within the village centre.

We urge you to respond to the consultation by no later than 12th November by writing to

Boxford Parish Council