Mildenhall: More than 150 homes to be built after US forces plan withdrawn

RAF Mildenhall USAF airfield; PICTURE COPYRIGHT MIKE PAGE RAF Mildenhall USAF airfield; PICTURE COPYRIGHT MIKE PAGE

Matt Gaw
West Suffolk reporter matt.gaw@archant.co.uk
Friday, August 1, 2014
11:25 AM

Developers are hoping to build 166 homes in west Suffolk after an existing plan for 150 houses to be used by the United States Air Force (USAF) was scrapped due to a lack of demand.

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Documents submitted to Forest Heath District Council reveal that Persimmon hope to capitalise on the precedent of existing planning permission at Skelton’s Drove, Beck Row.

The initial application for military housing, submitted in 2004, would have seen a high proportion of four and five-bedroom houses designed to cater for US families. The new proposal for “open market housing” would see a ‘more diverse’ mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes.

A spokesman for Persimmon said the greater proportion of smaller properties would allow for the addition of 16 more homes than in the military application.

The developer has said that none of the properties will be affordable housing as “the site was purchased with a planning permission that did not include affordable housing.” However, financial contributions towards schools will be provided by the firm and secured via a legal agreement.

The new scheme will feature two and two-and-a-half-storey buildings with one-storey garages.

The proposed layout features 11,213sq m of open space that includes 1,869sq m for children and young people, 3,382sq m of informal open space and 5,962sq m of natural green space.

An ecological survey carried out at the site in June this year found that there is a “significant” population of common lizards and a low population of grass snakes.

A statement from Persimmon said all reptiles on the land would be moved to a “receptor site”. No other protected species were identified in the area.

Although the original application for 150 homes for occupation by USAF has been dropped, both RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall have survived the cuts outlined in the US Department of Defense’s recent European Infrastructure Consolidation (EIC) review.

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