Homes plans ‘will put huge strain’ on village

Outline planning permission is being sought for 60 homes in Walsham-le-Willows
Outline planning permission is being sought for 60 homes in Walsham-le-Willows
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Residents are opposing plans which could see up to 82 new homes being built in the ‘quintessentially English village’ of Walsham-le-Willows.

Villagers have spoken out against two outline planning applications almost opposite one another – one for 60 homes on land west of Wattisfield Road and the other for 22 on land opposite Broad Meadow.

They say the plans are over-development for Walsham-le-Willows, which already has stretched services.

One resident said: “Excessive and unnecessary development of a quintessential English village like Walsham-le-Willows only removes from the beauty and character and has a detrimental effect on the residents who already live here.

“This type of proposal has a profoundly negative effect on the roads, noise, nuisance, nature and pollution and puts a huge strain on local services.

“The infrastructure of the village is inadequate to cope with further development.”

Another called for a wildlife survey on the Wattisfield Road site and wondered how the school would cope with the potential influx of new pupils.

“New homes are already being built in Badwell Ash and the families that move to Badwell Ash will be expecting their children to come to Walsham School. How are they going to accommodate this in an already full school?” they said.

A Broad Meadow resident said: “I purchased the house for the open space, lovely views, peacefulness and I did not want to be surrounded by other houses. The whole thing needs to be forgotten about and let people get on with their lives. This is very stressful and will have detrimental affect on value of existing properties. Please allow us to be stress-free and enjoy quality of life in the wonderful countryside.”

Walsham-le-Willows Parish Council has already recommended the 60-home development for refusal and has until August 9 to submit its views on the 22-homes plan.

Jessica Fleming, Mid Suffolk district councillor for Rickinghall and Walsham, said: “Given the current pressure to build houses it is more important than ever to ensure that new growth is sustainable, in the real meaning of this term, and proportionate.”

A spokesman for Mid Suffolk District Council said while the formal consultation on the 60-home development had closed, comments could still be submitted, and they were waiting for additional information from the applicant which might require a re-consultation. Consultation into the 22-home plan is open until 28 July.

He added that both applications were likely to go before committee in the autumn, although no date has been set.