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Kentford: 60-home scheme is approved while larger bid is turned down

PUBLISHED: 10:01 26 February 2014 | UPDATED: 10:02 26 February 2014

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Controversial plans to potentially double a west Suffolk village’s population with a major new housing scheme have been approved.

The application to build 60 properties at Kentford Lodge in Kentford, near Newmarket, was agreed by Forest Heath’s development control committee, while a rival development on land east of Gazeley Road was rejected.

Both Kentford and Moulton Parish Councils had called for both applications to be rejected, feeling they were both too big.

However, the general feeling among panel members was that the scheme – submitted by Robert Boyce, Kentford Developments Ltd and Pigeon Investment – was a good application given the need to provide housing across the district.

Councillor Bill Bishop said: “Whilst I appreciate the parish council’s view, and their members may disagree with it, we have to look at the facts and build enough homes for people to live in. What we’ve got to do is make sure with the
housing comes the infrastructure.”

Councillor Simon Cole praised the scheme’s comparatively open density, which would provide a lot of space between the houses.

Councillor David Gathercole said: “I have great sympathy for the parish council, but we are governed by the national planning policy framework, which is developer-led. All these developments that are coming before us, as much as we feel that some of them might be wrong, the presumption is in favour of approval.”

The application also allows for 579 square metres of office space and 18 affordable homes. The developers will have to contribute almost £220,000 to meet education and pre-school provision in the area.

The rival application came from Persimmon Homes, which threatened Forest Heath with legal action after council officers recommended the application for refusal. Among the reasons the panel rejected the application were because of concerns over a former landfill site near the area, which the Environment Agency wanted further testing for before it would approve any building at the site.

It is the latest in a series of large-scale development proposals in Forest Heath, with Lakenheath, Newmarket and Red Lodge also subject to applications from developers.

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