East Bergholt

Then & Now
Vale Villages
Meetings & Events

Erection of 144 dwellings including 360sqm of single storey courtyard development to contain 4 B1 (business) units, public open space, associated landscaping and infrastructure.
The Dedham Vale Society has concerns over the above application: Letter dated July 2015 (pdf 140Kb)
The Suffolk Preservation Society has concerns over the above application: Letter dated July 2015 (pdf 1.8Mb)

For further information visit:
Action East Bergholt

or the applicants: Bidwells


East Bergholt Parish Council is asking for a judge to review legality of 144 home planning application
EADT - 23 April 2016

A parish council in the heart of Constable Country which disagreed with a planning decision made by Babergh District Council is asking for a judge to intervene.

Permission was granted for 144 homes to be built on land next to Moores Lane in East Bergholt last month by the district council’s planning committee despite opposition from within the community.

A short statement on the website of East Bergholt Parish Council said: “After careful consideration the parish council has decided to take the planning applications on Moores Lane and Hadleigh Road to judicial review. Babergh’s unwillingness to listen to the views of the people of East Bergholt left us with no alternative."

A judicial review does not look at whether the decision reached was right or wrong, just whether the process used in making that decision followed the correct procedures. If it is found the decision was not reached lawfully the ruling could be declared invalid.

EADT 24 April 2016
Click to view EADT 23 April 2016

The villagers of Constable country join forces against ‘brutal’ new housing plan
The Guardian 10 April 2016

The planning application for 144 homes on an arable field to the north of the village was approved by Babergh district council’s planning committee in March. However, ministers at the Department for Communities and Local Government were asked to consider whether, through what is known as a section 31 notice, the secretary of state might decide to “call in” the application and remove it from local decision-making. But last Thursday, the planning minister, Brandon Lewis, wrote to the council to say his department would not be intervening. 

The local Conservative MP, James Cartlidge, has expressed concern about the “disproportionate” scale of the development, adding that the new homes were “well out of the affordability reach of most younger families”.

Jane Basham, the Labour candidate defeated in the last general election, who lives in nearby Hadleigh, said: “The people of East Bergholt want more housing, including social and council. They understand their village, the problems of living in a rural area and the need for housebuilding. But urban housebuilding approaches won’t work in villages. By adopting this as a quick-fix housebuilding model and excluding local people, our district council is creating mistakes in the countryside for generations to come.”

Government will not call in decision to approve 144 homes in Constable Country in East Bergholt
EADT - 8 April 2016

The government will not call in the controversial plan to build 144 homes on farmland in East Bergholt, it has been confirmed.

Campaigners had hoped the Secretary of State would intervene and overrule the decision made by BDC’s planning committee. They claim the development off Moore’s Lane, in the Suffolk countryside immortalised by John Constable, would damage both the character of the picturesque village and the landscape painter’s legacy.

Peter Dent, chairman of Action East Bergholt, said: “I think the decision is a great shame and a great pity, but it is not exactly a surprise. But the fight is not over and the next step now is to seriously consider, and hopefully we will, a judicial review – under the auspices of the parish council and not the action group. We haven’t got that sort of money. It is going to cost a lot of money and I believe the parish council will have a vote next Thursday.

EADT 8 April 2016
Click to view EADT 8 April 2016

East Bergholt villagers explain why preserving Constable Country means so much to them
EADT - 4 April 2016

It is the most unlikely setting for a rebellion. But that’s exactly what’s happening in the picturesque village of East Bergholt, which was immortalised by its most favourite son, the great landscape artist John Constable.

Action East Bergholt (AEB) was formed to campaign against the plans, a joint effort between Knight Developments and Bidwells, and on Saturday met in the first real sunshine of 2016, which showed off Constable Country at its best, to tell me why they are fighting so hard to protect the landscape of their village.

Peter Dent, chairman of AEB. said: “I think it’s important to remember there’s no-one in the village who’s against development. It’s absolutely clear everyone fully accepts development has to happen. All we’re saying is not 144 homes.”

EADT 4 April 2016
Click to view EADT 4 April 2016

Nearly 150 homes set for East Bergholt after Babergh committee approves development plans
EADT - 23 March 2016

There are set to be 144 new homes built in East Bergholt after a Babergh planning committee approved plans in the face of local opposition.

Dozens of members of the public tried to cram into the council chamber in Hadleigh, with many eventually having to settle for an overspill room, to hear the debate surrounding the application ahead of the decision earlier today.

The homes would be built on land north west of Moore’s Lane in the village, part of the Suffolk countryside immortalised in paintings by John Constable.

More than 400 letters of representation were made to the council regarding the application which would cover nearly 19 acres.

Concerns about traffic levels, speeding and the loss of the village’s character were all raised at the meeting.

EADT 23 March 2016
Click to view EADT 23 March 2016

Stephen Williams, the ward member for East Bergholt, spoke at length against the application, saying: “This flies in the face of the core strategy.”

He also spoke about the villages neighbourhood plan, adding: “East Bergholt are to be commended for their neighbourhood plan.

“They have spent £30,000 or there abouts on additional support to create their neighbourhood plan. If this application goes ahead all of that will be wasted.”

Nick Ridley, who seconded a proposal to approve the plans, said: “I believe that East Bergholt offers us a development which has got a full batch of affordable housing, the site is not that large.

“We very rarely get offered a full 35% affordable housing. This has been very much welcomed and I think will be welcomed by this committee.”

Within the 144 home site there will be 50 affordable homes built, a mixture of one and two-bed apartments, two and three-bedroom houses and three-bedroom bungalows, along with 94 market homes ranging from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom houses.

“We’re very disappointed because the planning committed has ridden roughshod over two years of work and a huge level of support from the local community,” said Paul Ireland, chairman of East Bergholt Parish Council.

“Babergh have clearly made it obvious to us they are not interested in localism.

“Standing here today, given the amount of work I know is involved I would recommend any parish council not to go to the trouble of developing a neighbourhood plan if it’s going to be ignored as ours has today.”

Peter Dent, chairman of the group Action East Bergholt, said a judicial review into the decision today would be sought.

Campaigners fight housing plans which they say would ruin character of village
ITV News - 30 July 2015

Campaigners in Suffolk are fighting plans for a new housing development which they say will ruin the rural character of their village.

The proposals for nearly 150 homes in East Bergholt have been put forward by developers.

However, 'Action East Bergholt' says the development would damage important agricultural land.

"The impact we think on the landscape will be absolutely horrific. What we're saying is we don't want 144 homes here but there are other locations within the village where developments can take place and we have no issue whatsoever with it." – PETER DENT, ACTION EAST BERGHOLT

Click to view the ITV full article and watch the news report

ITV News July 2015

Fight against ‘ridiculous’ plan for 144 homes in Constable Country
‘gathering momentum’ as 100 protest signs put up

Ipswich Star - 14 July 2015

Campaigners opposed to proposals to build almost 150 homes in the Suffolk countryside immortalised by John Constable believe their fight is “gathering momentum”.

Around 100 objection placards have been put up around East Bergholt in protest to the proposed development, which would bring a mix of 50 affordable homes and 94 town houses and apartments to the outskirts of the village where the landscape painter was born and raised.

Peter Dent, chairman of Action East Bergholt, said in January the campaign group is determined to protect the artist’s legacy.

Since then, he said opposition has grown. Earlier this month, more than 300 people “packed out” a village meeting – one of the biggest attended in living memory, Mr Dent said.

He said: “The unprecedented scale and inappropriateness of what is being attempted has stirred our community into action. We will not allow the tranquil images so famously depicted by Constable to be permanently destroyed.

“We have already seen a great deal of support from within the village from residents who have offered their overwhelming support to our ‘no’ campaign. If you had asked me what our chances were a few months ago, I would have probably said ‘not great’. Now, we are gathering momentum.

Click to view the Ipswich Star full article

Ipswich Star July 2015

Constable Country in East Bergholt under threat
by proposal for 144 homes

East Anglian Daily Times - 15 January 2015

The Suffolk countryside immortalised by John Constable is under threat by a proposed development which could bring almost 150 homes to the village where the landscape painter was born and raised.

Developers have proposed building the new housing estate, which would include a mix of 50 affordable homes, 94 town houses and several apartments, on agricultural land on the outskirts of East Bergholt.

The homes would be built around a mile from Flatford, where Constable painted The Hay Wain in 1821 as well as The Leaping Horse and The Lock.

Peter Dent, chair of the campaign group Action East Bergholt, which formed in the wake of the proposals, said they are determined to protect the artist’s legacy which he feared could be “swallowed up” by “inappropriate developments”.

Click to view the EADT full article

EADT Januray 2015

Constable country under threat from plan to build over the landscape that inspired The Haywain with massive 160-home development
Daily Mail - 15 January 2015

  • Developers are planning to build up to 160 homes in 'Constable country'
  • John Constable painted his masterpiece The Hay Wain just a mile away 
  • Residents are determined to protect the great landscape artist's legacy
  • They have raised concerns that artist may have sketched nearby fields

It is the rolling countryside that inspired John Constable's most celebrated works, including his masterpiece - The Hay Wain. But residents fear that 'Constable country' is under threat because of a proposed development which could bring 160 houses to the small Suffolk village where the landscape painter was born.

Developers have put forward plans for a mix of 50 affordable homes, 94 town houses and several apartments on the outskirts of East Bergholt.

The homes would be built just over a mile from Flatford, where Constable painted The Hay Wain in 1821 as well as The Leaping Horse and The Lock.

Patricia Wright, secretary of the East Bergholt Society, told The Times: 'We don't want a big development dumped down on a corner of the village. We would like a modest number of small developments.'

'Constable wrote, 'Those scenes made me a painter and I am grateful.' So are we, and we are determined that his legacy will not be lost on our watch.

Click to view the Daily Mail full article

Daily Mail January 2015