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Melton: Public exhibition to be held over housing bid

08:00 16 May 2014

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Housing proposals for an east Suffolk village, which have already provoked concern among community leaders, will go on display at a public exhibition next month.

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Richard Brown, planning consultant for the Yarmouth Road application in Melton, said he was “working through the final details” of the proposal, which will go on show at the Lindos Centre in Saddlemakers Lane on Tuesday, June 3.

Although few details of the scheme have yet been disclosed, Melton Parish Council has already expressed concerns that its size and location will be unsuitable for the village.

The council recently objected “strongly” to the same developers’ application to build 180 homes to the north of Woods Lane – and many members believe this latest proposal will be even larger.

Councillor Geof Butterwick estimates that the site could hold as many as 200 homes, which, when added to the 180 for Woods Lane, would increase the village’s current housing stock by more than a fifth. “We don’t think that the infrastructure, particularly the highways infrastructure, will be able to cope,” he said.

“The A1152 has enormous traffic problems, so the idea of having more and more estates dumping traffic on roads that are already very near capacity doesn’t seem sensible.

“We also know that Farlingaye High School is full and Melton Primary School is growing rapidly so any new families with children will struggle to be accommodated.”

With there being a number of “very large” brownfield sites in the village, Mr Butterwick was also concerned by the developers’ choice of a greenfield location.

He says there are “loopholes” in the planning framework, which limits the grounds for objection whenever a local authority, such as Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC), has failed to identify a five-year land supply.

Mr Brown, however, claims there is an “urgent need” for new housing, particularly affordable housing, in the area, which the development will help to address.

He has also highlighted SCDC’s local plan, which identifies Melton as a “highly sustainable settlement”, as further grounds for support.

“If we are going to develop open market affordable housing then some of it is going to have to go on greenfield sites and the settlement boundaries are going to have to be reviewed,” he added.

The public exhibition takes place between 3-7pm on Tuesday, June 3, in the Lindos Centre, Saddlemakers Lane.

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