Action East Bergholt represents villagers, passionate about their vibrant, diverse community, who stand determined to prevent large housing developments spoiling Constable’s village


Email: contact@actioneastbergholt.org.uk

East Bergholt: Potential housing development background information – January 2015


Central government’s “National Planning Policy Framework” allows development on sites which previously would not have been considered: on greenfield sites outside village envelopes.


East Bergholt is one such village under threat. It is the birthplace of John Constable and even in his day the area was known as Constable’s Country. Many of his most famous paintings are of scenes here and most people would cite them if asked to exemplify an English rural landscape. Hardly anyone could fail to recognise The Hay Wain from table mats and tea towels, greetings cards and posters and jigsaw puzzles. The V & A’s recent Constable exhibition had paintings and sketches of East Bergholt scenes recognisable today but very much at risk from being swallowed up by inappropriate developments.

One such development was shown to the village in November 2014 in a community engagement consultation by Knight Developments Limited and their agent Bidwells. They have not, as yet, made an application but the plans they put on show were for 144 houses (approx 15% increase) on agricultural land on the edge of the village.


East Bergholt Parish Council began the arduous process of formulating a Neighbourhood Plan over a year ago. This will, once adopted, carry real weight in all planning decisions. All residents of the Parish have been asked what it is they value here and how they would like to see the village develop over the next twenty years.

The data from a 26 page questionnaire is being processed now. It is already apparent that the vast majority favour sensitive, moderate growth with no developments exceeding 15 homes and no large developments.

What the villagers cherish is the fact that East Bergholt is a village, not a town. It is a diverse and vibrant community. A community aware of the importance of Constable’s legacy and with a strong will to see it passed on to future generations of residents and visitors alike.


It is clear no decisions on developments, particularly if large in scale, should precede the adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan.


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