Yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 11th May) Boxford Parish Council received one weeks’ notice that Babergh Planning Committee will be re-considering the plans for Weavers Green, Sand Hill, Boxford.

Since the original decision was quashed, Babergh District Council Planning have continued to not engage with the village on this application. Since the original application was last presented to the Committee, by Babergh’s own admission, there have been fundamental changes that affect the application but they have decided to continue not engaging with the village to discuss the issues.

This is a highly contentious application and the failure to give the community adequate time to participate and respond to the latest reports, without new consultation having taken place, is manifestly unfair and contrary to the rules of natural justice. The highways issues, public building and failure to adequately meet various planning policies are in particular a matter of great concern and the Parish Council is not satisfied by the response given by the highways officer or the treatment of the issues to date. We feel more time should be given to discuss matters with the relevant experts and that the Planning Committee would be receptive to further submissions on these points.

We are also conscious that members of the current committee have also not had or been given the opportunity to conduct a site meeting to fully understand the issues. Only the committee who refused the original application had the opportunity.

This application should not be heard without giving the community a reasonable opportunity to participate, (longer notice) and preferably a further right of consultation.