Planning decision over ‘Cultural vandalism’ housing development in Barrow is defered by council

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A decision over a major village housing scheme described as ‘cultural vandalism’ by the Suffolk Preservation Society, has been defered by a council.

Both the society and Barrow Cum Denham Parish Council have objected to the plans for 40 new homes on land next to The Green.

Developers Hopkins Homes propose that 11 of the new properties be affordable homes.

Another planning application has also been submitted by Hopkins to build a further 80 homes, 24 of which would be afforable housing, of land West of Barrow Hill.

The application for the 40 homes at The Green was due to be decided by St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development control committee on Thursday.

But councillors defered their decision for a site visit which will take place on December 20.

Despite changes to address local concerns, the parish council and SPS have both objected to the scheme.

Simon Cairns, director at the SPS said the plans involved the demolition of some 19th century buildings which he said adds to the heritage of the village.

“We find this application serves to eradicate the spirit of the place at the heart of Barrow and represents cultural vandalism,” Mr Cairns said.

The SPS have also objected to the general design and layout.

The parish council meanwhile have raised issue with the height of the proposed properties and said the design was not in keeping with the village.

They also want more of the homes to be affordable housing to plug a local waiting list.

“The plans still strongly resemble an urban development and not a rural development fit for the centre of a village.

“This development will be a high profile development in the centre of our village and in the heart of the community.

“It will be a legacy for future generations and it is imperative to get it right,” said a letter from parish clerk Sue Houlder.

But Hopkins have argued that the height is in keeping with other buildings in the area.

“The development accords with the planning objective of making efficient use of the site and reflecting the character and density of the localiyty,” Hopkins said.

Planning officers had recommended that the committee approve the scheme at Thursday’s (6) meeting, subject to a 106 agreement that will see the developer fund local infrastructure.

But councillors decided a site visit is in order so they can see and understand the concerns that have been raised.