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Martlesham Heath: Court of Appeal permits review into long-running Adastral Park housing row

15:01 31 July 2014

Aerial view of Adastral Park and surrounding area. Photo by Cliff Hoppitt - airshots.co.uk.

Aerial view of Adastral Park and surrounding area. Photo by Cliff Hoppitt - airshots.co.uk.

Cliff Hoppitt - airshots.co.uk

Planning chiefs in east Suffolk fear a prolonged legal row will cast further delays over “much needed” housing while hampering their ability to oppose unwanted development.

The Court of Appeal has granted a review into claims that Suffolk Coastal District Council failed in its legal obligations when creating its core strategy proposals for 2,000 homes at Martlesham Heath.

A High Court Judge had in February rejected the challenge made by the campaign group No Adastral New Town Ltd, which claimed the council failed to properly assess the impact of new housing on the River Deben.

A spokesman for the group said it was “very pleased” the appeal had now been allowed and felt “vindicated” in its legal challenge.

The decision, however, will leave SCDC without a valid housing strategy until at least 2015, when the review is likely to be heard.

Geoff Holdcroft, who is responsible for planning at the council, said he was “extremely disappointed” by the news.

It will cast further delays of the council’s plans to progress the Adastral Park scheme, which accounts for more than a quarter of the district’s housing target for the next 15 years.

Mr Holdcroft also fears the lack of a core strategy will make it difficult for the council to oppose inappropriate housing applications in the district.

Developers Hopkins Homes have already referred to the lack of a five year housing plan when appealing the council’s refusal of its plans for 26 homes in Yoxford to the Planning Inspectorate.

Although that decision went in the council’s favour, Mr Holdcroft said other inspectors may decide differently for “less than ideal sites”.

“It’s going to make it very difficult for the council as developers are going to be able to take their chance with the planning system,” he said.

“I also feel really disappointed for the people in this district who badly need new housing.

“Although the local plan has a huge amount of debate and discussion, especially in relation to the potential development of homes and jobs at BT Adastral Park, it has previously been found sound by an independent planning inspector.”

The campaign group, No Adastral New Town Ltd, said it did not take the decision to pursue legal action lightly, but “the council’s intransigence left us with little choice”.

“It is disappointing that the local community were forced to go to such lengths,” the spokesman added.

5 comments

  • NANT are very definitely NIMBYs of the worst kind. They are not disputing total housing numbers, only the allocation of houses to their own part of the District. They don't want 2000 houses on the Adastral site but at the Independent Inquiry into the Local Plan they made a written submission (the "Cogent" submission) suggesting that consideration should be given to reallocating some or ALL of these 2000 houses elsewhere. In practical terms, going elsewhere could only mean around Felixstowe Trimley Villages. In the meantime, people elsewhere are having to pay SCDC's legal costs to fight NANT. (Declaration of interest - STAG, of which I am a member, are opposed to large scale housebuilding around Felixstowe Trimleys on the grounds that the total numbers are excessive. We would not dream of suggesting that houses allocated here should be re-allocated anywhere else.)

    Report this comment

    Grumpy Git

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • yes, leave things as they are - no growth or looking to the future. perhaps they ought to join forces with Save Trimley Against Growth, and then remain STAGNANT!

    Report this comment

    BlipThePeanut's Dad

    Friday, August 1, 2014

  • DebenBue's comment is not correct. Yes, there is a need for new housing, but not anywhere near Adastral Park. No, the Adastral Park does NOT guarantee any new employment. No, DebenBlue, NANT has NOT put forward any other schemes. Truth: SCDC has created this problem by its own illegal process.

    Report this comment

    AngloSaxonViking

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

  • NIMBY's. There is a desperate need for new housing including affordable housing. The scheme is good because it also includes employment, schools, etc. many of the other schemes put forward by NANT are for small developments which do not require schools or other amenities to be built and with schools already overcrowded, where will all the children that will inevitably come with these homes go? Let's home the appeal judge sees common sense and dismiss the appeal

    Report this comment

    DebenBlue

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

  • Why Mr Holdcroft "will it put more unneccessary pressures on the Council" ?, Cameron and the tories have stated that 'Local Issues and decisions affecting Local People should be taken into account' !, you are trying to 'circumnavigate' that policy !. As a matter of interest, do you live in or anywhere near the proposed area ?, because if you did you would understand peoples concerns !

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

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