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Planning inspector dismisses appeal to build 28 homes in countryside in Great Finborough

A developer has failed in its bid to overturn a council's decision to refuse plans to build 28 homes in the Suffolk countryside.

Laurence Homes appealed against Mid Suffolk District Council's rejection of its proposals to develop land, off High Road, in Great Finborough.

The plans for 28 homes including nine affordable on the land next to Buxhall Lodge, in Buxhall Road, was refused in April last year for being outside the village's settlement boundary in the countryside, which was against planning policy.

The land, off High Road, in Great Finborough, which was earmarked for development. Picture: Google
The land, off High Road, in Great Finborough, which was earmarked for development. Picture: Google

The council also cited the potential for residents to be reliant on their cars due to the lack of services and facilities in Great Finborough and the suburban character of the development would 'fail to protect, preserve or enhance the character and appearance' of the area.

In its appeal, Laurence Homes argued that the development would support services in Great Finborough and other villages, create jobs in the building trade during construction and the affordable homes would 'represent a significant social benefit'.

The developer also questioned why the council's emerging local plan included the site within the village's settlement boundary.

However, planning inspector Graham Chamberlain said that while it was 'curious' the authority refused the proposal for being outside the settlement boundary, the emerging local plan had not been adopted and the parish council 'vigorously object' to extending the boundary.

The parish council, he said, also suggested Great Finborough would be classified as a 'hinterland village' due to its lack of facilities and the inspector felt it was 'unclear whether a development of the size proposed would be appropriate'.

Mr Chamberlain added the development would 'seriously diminish' the rural character of the site and the 'limitations of the design and layout would significantly outweigh the positive aspects'.

"This would result in a poorly designed scheme that would significantly harm the character and appearance of the area," he said.

It would also 'fail to preserve the setting' of the listed Buxhall Lodge.

In his conclusion, he said the proposal would be 'contrary to the development plan' and the appeal had failed.

District Cllr John Matthissen, who represents the village, said he was 'very pleased' with the decision as Great Finborough felt it was 'too large a scale of development'.

He added that although the village was designated as suitable for modest development in 1998, it had since lost key services including a shop, post office and had a limited bus service.

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