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Bury St Edmunds residents fear plans for ‘£1.5m’ house will lead to more development and loss of woodland

Action group formed to oppose development on former Anglian Water land by the water tower recently sold at auction.   Left to right - Clive Springett (ward councillor), Igor Wowk and Andrew Somerville.

Action group formed to oppose development on former Anglian Water land by the water tower recently sold at auction. Left to right - Clive Springett (ward councillor), Igor Wowk and Andrew Somerville.

An action group who succesfully fought of Anglian Water’s plans to build 14 homes in woodland are opposing new plans for the site.

Residents in West Road, Bury St Edmunds, say they fear the latest outline application for a single dwelling in neighbouring woodland is a ploy to establish the principle of development and will lead tomore applications.

But Keith Pritchard, who bought the site at auction for £25,000 plus vat says that is not the case.

“They think once I have got one house I will want to build more. That was a non starter because Anglian Water had an application for several houses turned down,” he said.

He added that any subsequent application would be decided on its own merits.

Part of the residents fears come after Mr Pritchard enquired about buying bits of their garden and houses.

But he says he had no interest from residents apart from the owners of one bungalow, which he plans to knock down to create an access to the site.

“It is removing one home and replacing it with another. The new house will be worth about £1.5m which will give me a profit of about £700,000.

“There is a blanket tree preservation order on the site.

“Most of them will remain if that is what the council wants and any that are removed will be replaced,” Mr Pritchard said.

But Cllr Clive Springett, St Edmundsbury Borough Council ward member said: “The residents are all really against it.”

And resident Igor Wowk said: “One assumes once he has planning permission for one, he can probably apply in future for more.”

He said a group of neighbours had tried to buy the land for £15,000 but were outbid.

A date has yet to be set for when the application will be considered by St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development control committee.

At the time of going to press there were 34 letters of objection.

Mr Pritchard has already said that he is confident that if the application is refused by the council, that he will be able to get permission on appeal.

The Anglian Water application for 14 homes was refused on appeal partly due to the loss of protected trees. “In my view, the development would harm a woodland area which positively contributes to the locality’s character,” an inspector said.

 

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