Parish council opposes plans for Reydon

Reydon Smere.

Reydon Smere. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Reydon Parish Council has reversed its support of a company's controversial plans to build on Reydon Smere.

Local beauty spot Reydon Smere.

Local beauty spot Reydon Smere. - Credit: Archant

Global Chair Components had previously cited the fact that Reydon Parish Council had twice voted in favour of the development as an example wider local support.

During a parish council meeting on Thursday, February 18, the appeal and plans were discussed before a vote was held, which saw a majority vote against the proposed scheme.

Reydon Parish Councillor, Philip O'Hear, said: 'It is a very fine balance to protect the interests of the countryside and to satisfy the need for jobs.

'I think the reason for the change in vote is firstly due to changes in membership of the parish council and the fact the council has now seen the inspectors report and has been able to view the strength of the appeal.'

Cllr O'Hear explained the proposed expansion would see an increase in the number of lorries on the B1127 between Reydon and Wrentham; which is an issue Reydon Parish Council has already received complaints about from the local population.

He added the application breached planning policies to protect the countryside and in particular those of AONB, and did not meet the criteria for exemptions to these policies.

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Robert Kelsey, spokesman for the Save the Smere campaign said: 'It is a disingenuous application, since 2011 there have many plans to convert this agricultural land and area of natural beauty into development land.

'The application uses the threat of jobs to try and get their way; quite rightly Waveney District Council blocked planning before it even got to committee.'

In March 2015 Waveney District Council refused Global Chair Components' application after case officer Iain Robertson highlighted its 'significant adverse visual impact'.

He also said the firm, which manufactures chairs and office furniture, had not 'fully explored' alternative sites in the area which would allow the company to keep its local workforce, without developing near an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

However, chairman of Reydon Parish Council, Barrie Remblance said: 'Ultimately it is down to the individual parish councillors as they all have their own reasons for why they have voted for or against the plans.

'I see no problems with the plans, in my opinion, the Smere runs from the Reydon allotments through to the Wangford Road, and this will be built on the Lowestoft Road.

'My main concern is that if Global Chair Components do not get their proposal local people will lose work as a result.'

People have until February 29 to write to the Planning Inspectorate but a date for hearing is yet to be set.

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