Sudbury Society Response to DC/20/01094 Churchfield Road 166 Dwellings

Application DC/20/01094: Outline Planning Application (some matters reserved, access to be considered) - Erection of up to 166 residential dwellings, a purpose built care home for up to 60 bedrooms, and associated infrastructure including landscaping, public open-space, car parking and means of access off Church Field Road.
The Sudbury Society has considered this matter and believes that the application should be refused. The site is located within an area zoned and mainly developed for employment use and we believe it would be a retrograde step to introduce housing anywhere in the Churchfield Road area.

There is already a huge provision for housing around the town and local district and this increase in population will require ideally local employment. Meanwhile the town is in the process of losing two major employers, Delphi and Phillips Avent at Glemsford, and there will be an enlarged labour pool requiring employment.

In the outline consent for the approved plan for Chilton Woods the provision of employment land is proposed. However this will emerge much later in the development process and it is important to have land available in the shorter term.

We have studied the heritage and environmental objections to this development. We observe that the heritage arguments seem to revolve around the significance of the relationship between the Church and Chilton Hall. The existing development of Churchfield Road adjoining the Church is already in Employment use and so the principle of this use has been in existence for 20 plus years. We fully understand the significance of the heritage assets but if they are important now they were just as important when Churchfield Road was laid out.

Chilton Hall is protected by its listed park and grounds and is totally enclosed by a dense screen of trees meaning there is no line of sight between the two heritage assets, nor between the hall and any construction on this site below tree height.

The various flora and fauna on this site, about which various environmental concerns have been expressed, are only present because it has lain dormant awaiting development for several years. We do not believe that the site should be taken out of commercial use simply because of wildlife that has moved in since it was being actively farmed. There will be other, large and more suitable areas created for wildlife within the Chilton Woods development.

One of the Sudbury Society’s principal aims is to retain the strong market town character of the town. We are concerned that the ever-increasing provision of housing with no related employment options will lead to Sudbury developing as a dormitory town to surrounding centres and as far as London. Meanwhile, our road links are already stretched even before all the other allocated residential schemes are completed.

For these reasons we urge that the current designation of the site for employment use be

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