It was standing room only in Dove Cottage last night as Debenham people packed into a Parish Council meeting to express complete opposition to Taylor Wimpey’s renewed attempt to get permission for 295 houses off Gracechurch Street.
During the time when they public can speak, many expressed outrage that the developers should be seeking to overthrow the Neighbourhood Plan which allocates other, more suitable sites for new housing.
Since the TW plan was rejected by Mid Suffolk District Council in December 1918, the neighbourhood plan has been approved by more than 95% of people voting in a referendum. Sixty percent of the electorate voted. The plan has now been fully adopted and forms part of the legal plan for the area. It rejects the Taylor Wimpey sites* off Gracechurch Street as unsuitable.
TW is using a rule in the planning law which enables it to make a second application within 12 months without having to pay fees to the district council. It did not appeal against refusal.
Given recent experiences of flooding when rain fell on already saturated ground and the river rose rapidly, there was also widespread concern about the impact of 295 houses on a site which drains into the River Deben before it flows through the village.
After members of the public had spoken the council, which has a legal role in planning as a consultee, decided it was minded to oppose the application and would discuss the matter at a another meeting.
*It is not know if TW is still pursuing its plan for a more than 300 houses behind the Leisure Centre and High School which was included in its master plan for Debenham. This site is also rejected in the Neighbourhood Plan.