Anger at developer's consultation over 950 new homes

The proposed site for housing off Ellough Road in Worlingham near Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher.

The proposed site for housing off Ellough Road in Beccles. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A consultation over almost 1,000 new homes has been slammed.

Developer Larkfleet Homes opened a consultation to Beccles residents last month over plans for up to 950 new homes, as well as a school and affordable housing, on land off Ellough Road.

However, Beccles Town Council has now written to the developer with a number of concerns, including a perceived lack of consultation with "no effort" to hold a wide-scale process.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the developer instead invited responses by posting leaflets through doors, although the council claim not every address in Beccles and Worlingham received this.

The area's district and county councillors have also united against the "arrogant" plans, with the consultation open at the same time as one on the Worlingham Neighbourhood Plan.

In a joint statement, councillors Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, Caroline Topping, Sarah Plummer and Peggy McGregor said: "We are dismayed by the poorly produced consultation literature from Larkfleet which came through doors in Beccles and Worlingham.

"Larkfleet has chosen not to engage with local councillors, town and parish councils and other landowners who are involved in the site, giving no notice or suggestion of collaboration to develop their masterplan, which does not seem to have taken into consideration the Local Plan nor council policy.

"Any development, but particularly development of this scale, can only be successful with genuine communication and a full understanding of the needs of the community

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"We very much hope it is just misguided and that Larkfleet will re-evaluate how they intend to deliver this consultation and start again."

A spokesperson for Larkfleet Homes said: "In light of coronavirus restrictions, it was not possible to hold physical consultation events.

"We have been consistent with our distribution area throughout our various consultations and are confident that it reaches the homes and businesses closest to the site, with over 4,000 newsletters delivered.

"We would encourage anyone with an interest in the development to respond to this consultation.

"We have had a good response so far, but it is not too late to comment as the consultation closes on June 8."

They added posters were displayed around the area and a dedicated website and a freephone number have been set up for the consultation, which closes on June 8.