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  1. ITV Report

Community claims planning system 'run by developers' in Suffolk housing row

Residents say the new homes dominate their properties. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A community says it is losing its faith in the planning system after a row over six new homes on the Suffolk/Essex border.

People living in Bures say the houses are being built taller than agreed and say it's all too easy for developers to exploit the system.

Clare and James Frewin say they've felt powerless as the homes started going up - standing more than two and a half metres taller than stated on the original plans.

"We know that there is pressure and that housing is needed but in the right place and at the right height. We need planning to control that on behalf of us because as an individual we don't have a say."

– Clare Frewin, Homeowner
The six-home development in Bures. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Babergh District Council said a new planning application has been submitted to vary the permitted height of the development.

“Since planning permission was originally issued the site has changed ownership. The new owner is working to implement the planning permission, however after work began at existing ground level some residents contacted Babergh expressing concern the completed development would exceed the height specified in the original planning permission.

“Our Planning Enforcement Team investigated and found these fears were well founded, and that the development would be higher than the original permission specified."

– Babergh District Council

A decision on the new application could be weeks away - but homes are continuing to be advertised.

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge says the case highlights a flaw in the planning system.

"Although planning is very much the responsibility of the district councils, this loophole is very much the responsibility of parliament because it relates to legislation.

"It's simply that if a developer breaches their original planning application, the law is very much weighted towards the developer in stopping them from progressing."

– James Cartlidge MP

Click below to watch our report from Victoria Lampard