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Chedburgh Porters Farm wellbeing centre proposals could be refused after West Suffolk Council planning committee meeting

Plans to build a mental health and wellbeing centre on the site of a Grade II listed property could be denied as councillors have indicated they are minded to refuse the proposals.

Applicants Jon and Laura Cardy, who own Porters Farm in Queen's Lane, Chedburgh, sought permission to create a wellbeing retreat complete with a hub, therapy buildings, animal enclosures, parking spaces and four glamping domes for short stay holidays, on land behind their home.

But today, councillors on the West Suffolk Council Development and Control Committee, along with village residents, raised concerns over the potential over-development of the site.

Queen's Lane, where Porters Farm is situated. Picture: Google maps
Queen's Lane, where Porters Farm is situated. Picture: Google maps

A total of 14 objections were submitted to the council from villagers, and neighbour Winifred Evans said she felt strongly that holiday lets should not be allowed on the site.

She said a business of this kind would cause disruption for neighbours through noise, light and a loss of habitat for wildlife.

Other neighbours mentioned issues with sewage backing up in the area and said the site would not be in keeping with the rest of the area, bringing traffic to the quiet roads.

Mr Cardy told councillors that he and his wife had worked in healthcare for decades and wanted to provide a safe place for people, particularly healthcare professionals, to relax and improve their mental health.

He said activities at the site would include yoga, mindfulness and group sessions of up to 12 people, all of which he said would be quiet and considered.

While councillors praised the idea, and cllr Susan Glossop branded it a very well-meaning project, cllr Peter Stevens said the proposal was an over-development and cllr Jason Crooks said the plan would bring urbanisation to the village.

Cllr David Roach said: "It is really really difficult - the aim is really good and much-needed but in planning terms it is really sitting close to the edge of what is acceptable."

The committee voted in favour of indicating they were minded to refuse the plan. It will return before the committee at a later date for a final decision.