THE BUILDING of 60 homes on a site that overlaps a west Suffolk conservation area has been recommended for approval by St Edmundsbury Borough Council planners.

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An application submitted by Charles Church Limited would see the development, which includes 18 affordable properties, built on land east of The Granary in Stoke Road, Clare.

The proposals, which have already been amended following objections about the design of the properties from village residents, Clare Town Council and the Clare Society, will be considered by councillors on Thursday.

John Collecott, secretary of the Clare Society, said that he feared the development, which also includes a new access road and junction with Stoke Road, would be too dense.

In an e-mail to planners, endorsed by the Suffolk Preservation Society, Mr Collecott said: “The layout looks generous on paper but by cramming 60 houses in everything is on a very small scale with houses and gardens dominated by roads and parking areas.”

But, according to council documents, the society felt the amendments “are a huge improvement on the original application”.

Clare Town Council, in its initial rejection of the plans, said they believed the homes would exacerbate persistent localised flooding in Stoke Road and frequent blockages of the main foul sewer.

Although the town council were said to be satisfied that recent improvements to the pumping station should meet the demands of the development, they “remained concerned” at flood risk posed by run-off from fields.

But subject to the condition that town councillors can meet with the Environment Agency and planning officers to discuss the issue, they recommended the application for approval.

A summary of the proposals, which will go in front of the development control committee said: “Careful consideration has been given to the issues of the residential amenity of the neighbouring properties, access, parking and traffic generation, flooding and drainage capacity, archaeology, wildlife, potential contamination, noise and disturbance and issues of crime with the scheme being considered to be acceptable in all regards.”

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