East Bergholt is ten miles north of Colchester and the birthplace in 1776 of celebrated painter John Constable. Flatford Mill, near East Bergholt, was once owned by Constable’s father and was the subject of his famous painting The Hay Wain. Constable was very attached to his birthplace and many of his paintings were influenced by the surrounding area.
The village has become embroiled in a row over new housing and, having won a judicial review to overturn the building of ten houses in 2016, residents are now concerned over plans to build 144 new houses.
Campaigner and chairman of Action East Bergholt, Peter Dent, hopes the village can ‘divorce’ Suffolk’s Babergh District Council so that it can defect to the Essex Borough of Colchester. The village already has a Colchester postcode and phone number, and Colchester is perceived to have more sympathy for the preservation of heritage assets.
Mr Dent, who received support from nearly all in attendance at the recent annual Parish Council meeting, claims that Babergh District Council has ignored the neighbourhood plan. He said that villagers would prefer to live “somewhere where we don’t have to battle night and day”.
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