SCDC Planning Committee decided in favour of Persimmon's second planning application for 95 houses on Mount Pleasant by 8:5 votes.
Here are some highlights:
• Framlingham Town Council chair, Carolyn Youngs surprised the meeting by reversing the Town Council's position on opposing the application (which they did on 8 October) and said that they were in favour. This is an interesting volte face as there has not been a Town Council meeting since the 8th October to debate the issue and the last vote was 6:2 against. There has also been a new Town Councillor elected who has not voted on the matter at all. So by what authority can this now be the Town Council's position? Carolyn Youngs further confused the issue by saying that we needed Mount Pleasant application approved to reach the '200' new homes target but omitted to say we were already on track and the 200 houses target is over 10 years. Mrs Youngs also failed to tell the Committee that more Framlinghamians, when asked in the Neighbourhood Plan, voted against the Mount Pleasant site for development than had voted for it. • All of this was taken by an influential committee member to mean the town was in favour of the development. • Councillor Burroughes substitute gave us a patronising lecture that development wasn’t so bad, just look at how his ward of Martlesham had benefitted from massive development and promptly voted in favour. • As to procedure...hmmm. Well, our recollection of the events of the 8th differ to those recorded in SCDC's official minutes. It would seem that they also differ to the recollections of one of the Councillors, who questioned this fact too and that on 8th October Mr Ridley interrupted procedures after the vote was taken which we believe is contrary to the normal process. But apparently we are all wrong and he was invited. It may not seem much but the procedure of these events is very important. • Mr Ridley, Head of Planning, also told the committee that if they voted in favour of this application it gave SCDC ammunition to better fight other applications - presumably because it helps to strengthen the five year housing supply figure. So it is first come first served onto the sacrificial alter of development. • Persimmon's agent said, when asked if they would withdraw from the appeal if this application was approved, he didn’t think they would because they were too far down the line. In other words "we have established the development is sustainable so why wouldn’t we go all out for 100 homes when it saves us £500k on CIL and we get five more houses".
If SCDC, Persimmon or Taylor Wimpey think for one moment that opposition to Fairfield Road or indeed to Mount Pleasant's application for 100 houses is simply going to melt away, they are mistaken. We are as determined as ever to fight for Fram!
Yesterday's was a bad decision that will definitely adversely effect Framlingham's future.
Framlingham Residents' Association will discussing next steps. If you want to be part of the discussion, please email us at: