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Residents' association formed in Great Cornard in response to concerns about 'unsustainable' development proposals

A new community organisation has warned of the risks of traffic and flooding issues due to development in and around Great Cornard, ahead of a public meeting next week to discuss concerns about potential housing sites.

Villagers have been invited to a meeting at the The Stevenson Centre in Great Cornard on January 16 at 7pm, hosted by the Cornards’ Residents’ Association, which formed in late November following the release of the draft Babergh and Mid Suffolk Joint Local Plan.

The group aims to develop a formal response within the next month, to be submitted when the plan’s next iteration is published this year, urging the council not to allocate sites at Tye Farm and Davidson Close for housing, due to worries about the strains large developments are placing on the village.

Sudbury - Nick Miller. Picture: Mark Westley. (26251284)
Sudbury - Nick Miller. Picture: Mark Westley. (26251284)

The two sites were included in a public consultation on the local plan last year, and developers have published proposals promoting the land for housing, although no formal planning applications have been submitted.

Ray Barry, chairman of the Cornards’ Residents’ Association committee, said: “We’re increasingly beset by problems of over-development on inappropriate sites, such as off Prospect Hill behind Davidson Close, loss of employment, and man-made problems like flooding and traffic.

“At Great Cornard, we have a large population, but we are surrounded by beautiful scenery, rich wildlife and classic countryside.

“We have great community spirit, but our local services and our green spaces are vanishing, and heavy traffic threatens to get even worse in our narrow roads and lanes, and around our schools, with safety outside schools a big concern.”

Concerns about future development have been exacerbated after flooding occurred in Blackhouse Lane and Prospect Hill amid the heavy rainfall shortly before Christmas, forcing residents to scramble to prevent the rising water from entering their homes.

This prompted fears that further building work would lead to increased water run-off, heightening the chances of flooding.

Those attending next week’s public meeting are encouraged to share their personal experiences dealing with flooding and traffic problems locally.

Meanwhile, volunteers are also carrying out traffic surveys and measuring road widths, to be included in the group’s submission to the district council.

Committee member Nick Miller said: “We are making it plain to Babergh District Council that there is widespread public opposition and that building on that particular land would cause big problems.

“We need to make it clear that this location is not suitable or acceptable. We regard this development as completely unsustainable.

“Cornard has gone right to its physical limits, and it is going beyond that now. There has been an amazing amount of building in the last 20 years. People tell me the doctor’s surgery is often oversubscribed, school places are full and bus services are very poor.

“Once a site has been given a land allocation, it greatly increases the likelihood of being given planning permission.”