Bitter blow for Long Melford community as planning inspector approves developer's appeal to allow development of 150 new homes
The community of Long Melford has been dealt a devastating blow, after a planning inquiry into controversial housing development plans ruled in favour of the developer.
A report published by planning inspector Kenneth Stone recommended approval on an appeal by Gladman Developments, for planning permission to be granted for 150 homes on land off Station Road, known locally as the Skylark Fields.
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government stated he agreed with the inspector's conclusions and recommendations, which overturns Babergh District Council's refusal of the plans back in 2018.
The application has faced heavy opposition from local residents and councillors, who have battled for more than two years against the development, citing major concerns about the impact it would have on the village's infrastructure and environment.
Villagers have reacted with dismay at the decision, particularly its timing, as the community gets to grips with the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Long Melford parish councillor Lisa Tipper, who co-founded the Save Our Skylark Fields (SOS) campaign against the homes, wrote on Facebook: "I am shocked that we have been told during a time of huge worry for everyone and whilst we are fighting an invisible evil."