Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter


No to the Grove Farm Development in Stradbroke

Barely two weeks after disappearing from the Mid-Suffolk Planning web site under mysterious circumstances, the planning application for the proposed erection of 54 houses and 2 barn conversions on Grove Farm in Stradbroke has now reappeared. I have just objected to the proposal like this:

I went to the public consultation on this proposed development, and what I saw did not impress me at all. The proposed development is too large for this village in many ways, and will significantly adversely affect the village in very many ways.

The first issue, in my view, is that the village does not currently have the infrastructure to deal with this sudden explosion of housing. The doctor’s surgery is already oversubscribed, power failures are not uncommon, broadband infrastructure is not fit for purpose, and the roads especially are not capable of taking any more significant traffic flow.

Traffic is the second issue to address. The proposed Co-op development on Queen Street has already been objected to (and withdrawn, for the time being) because of traffic issues. This proposed development will add significant traffic flow to Queen Street, the busiest road in the village, and the exit of preference for people driving from the village to Diss and other northern settlements. This development would seriously increase the risk of a fatal accident on that road, and I feel that the planned road layout for the development is extremely poorly thought out.

Third, the development is seriously out of character for the village and would, in fact, totally change the character of the village. It does not abide by the commonly agreed view that the village should retain its narrow waist in order to retain views of the countryside. Nor does it abide by the agreed view that the village would benefit most from small, discrete developments which would not be intrusive. This development would definitely be intrusive. The design of the houses, too, is not in keeping with the character of current habitations.

The proposed development is obtrusive and absolutely unsuitable for the village of Stradbroke. It would contribute in no way to the economic and cultural development of the village, and I vigorously oppose it.

I would urge anyone with common sense and a love for our village to object to this development, too. Not only will it put lives in danger (now there’s a familiar story as far as recent planning permissions are concerned), but it will also change the character of this fine agricultural village, a place where getting stuck behind a tractor is a pleasure for me, because it reinforces to me that I live in a village that does still work the land, and that is a home to many who work on the fields and in the farms. Do we really want to destroy it? Building for the sake of building rather than building for organic growth is a sure way of doing that.

If you are a Stradbroke resident, you have until 21st April to object to Mid Suffolk District Council who will decide on the application.

You can see the plans on the Mid Suffolk Planning Website.

If you want to object, and I hope you do, there are several ways of doing so:

1. Make a comment online on the Mid Suffolk Planning Website (you’ll have to register on the site to comment)
2. Email Mid Suffolk District Council
3. Go to the Parish Council Meeting on Monday 13th April where you are allowed to state your view for 2 minutes maximum before the meeting officially opens.

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  1. Toni W

    8th April 2015 at 12:39

    Richard Pierce has a well argued point of view with which I share. When this proposal was presented in the village by the developers, most of the people near me made objections and voiced fears. The traffic problem is a potential accident in the making and, with so many children around at school times, very probable. I would agree that the village can accommodate more housing in limited, planned and thoughtful projects–a very few houses on discrete sites, as is the case at the moment. However, this present proposal of 54 houses would give Stradbroke a suburban character and would set a precedent for more building on neighbouring fields–the thin edge of the wedge. The only way to prevent this is to let our protests be known.

  2. richard pierce

    9th April 2015 at 02:27

    Thanks, Toni, for your support on this. Much appreciated (just back from London after a dreadful journey home). R

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