Developer claims revised housing plans for Boxford address objections to earlier rejected application

Suffolk Free Press
11 February 2020

Revised plans for a housing estate on a farmer's field in Boxford have been submitted by a developer – with a 20 per cent reduction in the number of homes proposed.

Last year, plans by Catesby Estates for 80 homes off Sand Hill – called Weavers Green – were thrown out after education bosses pointed out the village primary school was already close to capacity.

Planning permission was refused by five votes to four, despite the developer offering to contribute £134,000 towards school transport.

The company's new proposal is for 64 smaller homes, with increased landscaping and open space, including land given to the village for a community centre.

Weavers Green, Boxford, Catesby Estates artist's impression

Last week, the company formally submitted an application for outline planning permission to Babergh District Council.

It has sent details of the revisions to villagers, pointing out that it has set the homes further back from the A1071, on lower ground and with increased landscaping. There will now be 22 affordable homes.

In a report, the company says it has addressed and resolved all the reasons for the council's refusal of its original application in September.

It says: "The proposed amendments provided by this scheme directly respond to, and resolve, the reasons for refusal made by the planning committee in relation to the original planning application, as well as adding enhanced economic, social and environmental benefits for Boxford."

The company says the key amendments include removing a failing drainage soak-away and providing a new drainage system to stop surface water flooding.

It is also proposing to incorporate renewable energy technology, such as heat pumps and solar panels, to achieve carbon reductions.

Last year, villagers signed a 140-strong petition, which included objections about the negative impact on roads and pathways, and the lack of nearby primary school places.

In a transport assessment by David Tucker Associates, commissioned on behalf of Catesby, it says the site would generate around 37 and 26 two-way car trips during peak hours.

The report added: "The impact of the proposals on the operation of Swan Street is also shown to be negligible."