The SPS team is continuing to scrutinise planning matters across the county as we work from home. The following is an overview of our work and involvements in the past month. We are contactable via email at

Key involvements this month:

Lidgate, The Old Rectory – 3 dwellings – SPS has objected to the principle of development of this site which is on glebe land within the conservation area. As well as the loss of historic glebeland, our concerns relate to the impact on the street scene and the setting of the Old Rectory, a non-designated heritage asset as well as a number of nearby listed buildings.

Shadingfield – erection of poultry sheds within setting of Moat Farm, a grade II* farmhouse and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The building is currently on the Suffolk Buildings at Risk list and is in a very poor condition. The Society has expressed concern that the intensive poultry units will result in negative impacts of noise, smell and increased traffic movements which despite attempts to mitigate with bunds and planting will pose a further challenge for the prospects of Moat Farm returning to a viable use.

Boxford – 1 dwelling – SPS has raised concerns regarding the proposed scale of a single dwelling on a sensitive site within the conservation area and the removal of trees from the site. The extant outline planning consent had indicated a significantly smaller dwelling which would have been better screened from the highway.

Woodbridge, 42 Chapel Street – demolition of single storey dwelling in a conservation area and replacement with a two-bed dwelling. SPS has objected to the loss of this example of humble heritage, formerly one of a pair of agricultural workers cottages. It is described as significant within the Woodbridge Conservation Area Appraisal and within an important open green space.

The SPS believes that such examples of nondesignated heritage assets contribute to the character and appearance of the conservation area and are an important part of the cherished local scene and should be protected.

Other involvements:

Sizewell C – Despite SPS joining with local councils and local campaign groups in calling for a delay, EDF’s application for Sizewell C has now been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate and will proceed to Examination. SPS had urged both EDF and the Planning Inspectorate to delay this process until Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted to allow full participation from the community. SPS expects to register as an Interested Party as the next part of the process which runs from 8 July to 30 September.  The Director has attended a virtual meeting organised by ‘Together Against Sizewell C’ along with representatives from community campaign groups, the National Trust and the RSPB.  SPS’s position on Sizewell C is available here.

Woolpit Neighbourhood Plan – we were disappointed to learn that an Inspector has identified a ‘fatal flaw’ in the draft Plan as the numbers of new houses planned for was more than 400 fewer than that in the emerging MSDC/BDC Joint Local Plan. We understand that this is due to new figures being issued as part of the evidence base for the local plan since the Neighbourhood Plan drafting. In order to conform with the local plan, the Woolpit Neighbourhood Plan is therefore proceeding without its housing policies or allocations.

Walpole Old Chapel – The Friends of Walpole Old Chapel have been given the ‘go ahead’ by The Historic Chapels Trust for a major project to re-render the old chapel – work is long overdue. Alongside the work to the fabric of the building, the group are hoping to unearth more of the history of the chapel’s people over the centuries, and bring this to a contemporary audience. More details of this project are available in their newsletter available here.

Outcomes of interest to SPS:

Debenham – SPS was pleased to note that a second application from Taylor Wimpey for 295 houses on a site north of Gracechurch Street has been withdrawn. The site is not in the Neighbourhood Plan and a previous application was refused. Housing applications at Boxford (64 dwellings) and Bramford (115 dwellings) have been approved. In both cases the number of dwellings was reduced from previous applications but SPS retained concerns regarding the impact of the schemes on the landscape or the setting of heritage buildings.

Lowestoft – a 2018 application for a site adjacent to the Herring Fishery Score for 35 flats has now been withdrawn. This is welcome as although we supported the redevelopment of this brownfield site for residential uses, SPS objected to the overly large scale and design of the proposals on this sensitive site within the Heritage Action Zone.

Cockfield – we are pleased to report that 3 dwellings directly behind the listed Cock Inn have been refused. SPS had argued that harm would be caused to the setting of heritage assets by the loss of far reaching landscape views.

Ashbocking – SPS is encouraged that an application for 21 houses has been withdrawn. SPS has consistently pushed for the retention and conversion of an unlisted historic barn on the site which was to be demolished.

Needham Market – SPS is disappointed that plans for a dwelling in the conservation area have been approved. The mock-Georgian appearance of this substantial dwelling, on a prominent corner site, is not appropriate and we had urged for an alternative design approach to improve the architectural quality of this part of the conservation area.


East Anglian Daily Times – SPS Director’s Column, 10 June. Critical time for heritage sites as survey suggests people want to revisit them.