Alde and Ore estuary homes project on hold after objections to cash-raising development
PUBLISHED: 14:02 03 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 December 2017
Proposals to allow new homes to be built to raise vital funds to protect a vulnerable and beautiful area of east Suffolk from catastrophic flooding have been put on hold.
The idea was for planners to permit properties on “exception sites” in the countryside to raise millions for the £12million appeal by the Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership (AOEP) to pay for work to raise river walls.
However, the project has generated considerable opposition in some quarters with concerns over “planning creep” and more homes putting pressure on the estuary area.
Now the partnership has decided to delay its enabling development plans until more details of the defence costs and results of grant applications are known.
Partnership secretary Amanda Bettinson said: “The AOEP has decided to pause their enabling development plans in order to take into consideration comments received at recent public consultation meetings and to give more time for other sources of funds to be pursued.
“The main general appeal for funds was launched last month, and applications to the HLF Landscape Partnership and to other foundations are under way.
“Taking account of that, the AOEP has decided not to make any planning applications on sites for at least 12 months, ie not before November 2018.
“Meanwhile informal discussions may continue with planners and others.
“By November 2018, following on from the whole estuary modelling, there will be a more refined phased and costed programme of flood defence work in the estuary.
“There will also be a clearer picture of the likelihood of success of other fundraising sources.
“Funding is in place for all costs anticipated in 2018, so this pause will not impede the progress of delivery of the flood defences. It will also provide time for further community discussion about the Estuary Plan, funding sources and the extent to which any enabling development is required.”
Initially the AOEP had said 80 to 140 homes would be needed to raise around £4m but this was revised to 15 to 17 homes in the first phase because the value raised by small sites is “potentially much greater” than the yield from larger developments.