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Campaigners sound new warning after planners recommend approval of 263 homes in Framlingham despite community concerns

PUBLISHED: 10:45 11 February 2015 | UPDATED: 10:45 11 February 2015

Framlingham Residents' Association (FRAm) members campaign against green field site development.  Chris Churcher,  Alexandra Lapot and  Vic Stanbrook

Framlingham Residents' Association (FRAm) members campaign against green field site development. Chris Churcher, Alexandra Lapot and Vic Stanbrook

Controversial plans to build more than 250 new homes in a Suffolk market town are being backed by officials - prompting campaigners to accuse them of “riding roughshod” over local people’s wishes.

Protesters in Framlingham say they are being left on the “sacrificial altar” of development, and are warning that other towns could also fall victim.

Planners from Suffolk Coastal have recommended the approval of housing developments for Fairfield Road and Mount Pleasant, which together represents 263 new homes for the town.

The plans are due to be decided at a planning committee on Monday.

The greenfield site developments have provoked fierce criticism from the Framlingham Residents Association (FRAm), which formed in opposition to the proposals and has held several demonstrations calling for their rejection.

Critics warn the recommendations may have repercussions for other towns.

They claim that failures of the planning authority to meet minimum housing targets has left it powerless to oppose controversial development.

Geoff Holdcroft, who is responsible for planning at SCDC, has acknowledged that officers are “mindful” of the housing targets, but stressed the council was “not rolling over” to unacceptable developments.

In Wenhaston, where SCDC approved 26 homes to be built near an area of outstanding natural beauty in January, people living in the village have raised similar concerns.

Wilson Harvey, a retired scientist who has lived in Wenhaston for the past 12 years, said the village had been told it only needed to deliver 5-15 new homes until 2027, and he was therefore “extremely worried” by the shift in policy.

Under the same forecasts, Framlingham was earmarked for 75-150 new houses, which means the new application for 263 homes, by SCDC’s own admission “more than meets” the allocation for that period.

A total of 73 letters of objection were submitted in response to Taylor Wimpey’s Fairfield Road application, and a further 17 to Persimmon Homes’ Mount Pleasant plans.

In a report to the committee, case officer Ben Woolnough says the 163-home development for Fairfield Road, including 53 affordable houses, open space and play area, would make a “considerable contribution” to the district’s five-year housing land supply – a key Government requirement, without which the council says it has “very limited scope” to defend against applications.

Case officer Kathryn Oelman, in her report on the 100-home Mount Pleasant application, including 33 affordable houses, also refers frequently to the five-year deliverable land supply.

FRAm chairman Christopher Sharpe, who held the group’s final rallying call in the town on Saturday, said: “The planning department is riding roughshod over the wishes of the town, simply because there’s an anomaly at the moment with the land bank and the Local Plan.

“It’s apparent that this is being given precedence over what’s being desired by the townfolk.”

“Framlingham has found itself on the sacrificial altar of development.”

Though disappointed with the recommendations, Mr Sharpe said he was hopeful the councillors in the committee would refuse the applications.

10 comments

  • Sorry jip, i have not explained myself very well, i agree with you 100 per cent i have not lived in fram for years just my opinion that the people there want to live in the past

    Report this comment

    saxon

    Thursday, February 12, 2015

  • Well done "Saxon", you are the problem with modern society. Things change, there are more people which require more houses. move with the times.

    Report this comment

    jip-travloter

    Thursday, February 12, 2015

  • Having been born in Fram 60 odd years ago i can assure you the residents of Fram want no change at all and nor do the outsiders who move in,just want to keep it as it is back in the early 1900s

    Report this comment

    saxon

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Before they build these house, they should take a look at the schools the Drs, the lack of parking in the town. Also the lack of a sports hall community centre. Then they is the traffic. The school run is a nightmare now what will it be like with 100s more family's.

    Report this comment

    John Marten

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Well following the planning rules introduced under this lot, does anyone really expect that the locals (or the poor, the elderly, the disabled) to be considered ahead of the rich Tory supporters?

    Report this comment

    davidbrian56

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • So much for the tories....decisions being made locally ?, the Councils are so weak and ineffective !, they need to make sure that Developers whom's profits are ever rising build the appropriate number of Affordable Homes !, there needs to be proper legislation to make them !

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Guys, some of you need to check your facts. In another development in Framlingham unrelated to these 2 applications there were some 40 odd affordable houses included in the approved plans. Against community wishes the council then gave permission for them ALL to be removed when the developer went back claiming the site would no longer be economically viable if they were to remain. I am all for moving forward and agree we cannot live in the past. However these developments if they are to go ahead should benefit everyone, and the council MUST stand firm against any subsequent attempts by developers to remove the affordable housing element in plans already approved. Be clear on this - right now the only people gaining from this are the landowners and the developers. The community gets nothing, there is no help for younger people. Still, Range Rover sales have just shot up again no doubt....

    Report this comment

    Suffolk Boy

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Dear oh dear. I wonder if those who are critical live near to, or know anything at all about the area, let alone the planning application.

    Report this comment

    Boyce

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Sorry Framlingham its your turn this time. The rest of Suffolk have taken their share and it now your turn. Though I do hope the architecture is more interesting that some of the recent builds.

    Report this comment

    zaax

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

  • Another case of "not in my back yard". Im sorry, but there are young families out there who are struggling to get on the housing ladder due to a lack of available properties. We need to be building a lot more houses than we are at present to cope with this. I would bet my bottom dollar that all of those above own their houses outright, have a large swathe of land attached and simply want to stay in the 20th century with horses and carts trundling around. Move with the times people. Either that, or do a swop with Sizewell. Im sure they would welcome 263 new houses and Framlingham can have a nuclear power station instead.... no? thought not.

    Report this comment

    jip-travloter

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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