October 31 2014 Latest news:
Friday, August 1, 2014
Campaigning residents have been victorious in their battle to prevent a new housing development from causing a “detrimental impact” to their lives.
Outline proposals to build 38 homes in Needham Market were unanimously rejected by Mid Suffolk district councillors in a meeting on Wednesday.
Farmer Peter Haylock made the housing bid for a 3.7 acre (five hectares) area of his land west of Anderson Close.
But when residents found out dozens attended a town council meeting in February to object; with an opposition Facebook group attracting more than 300 members.
Wendy Marchant, district councillor for the town, said: “I strongly support the planning officer’s recommendation of refusal, it’s against Mid Suffolk’s local policy and is in a special landscape area, outside the settlement boundary.
“Needham Market Town Council, the Needham Market Society and residents are all against this development. We already have the Maltings development of almost 100 homes and the chalk pits for nearly 300, which is sufficient for a town the size of Needham Market.”
Phil Cobbold, Mr Haylock’s planning agent, defended the proposal.
He said: “The core strategy (an important planning document) may state that there’s no need for greenfield development in the next few years but that assumes that brownfield sites will be developed – there is no guarantee of that.”
Documents indicated that 50% of the homes would be for “affordable” use – a figure Mr Cobbold said was significant.
“There will be 320 homes at the brownfield site in the chalk quarry, but just 14% will be for affordable housing – 38 units instead of the policy requirement of 105.
“Although it is in a special landscape area it does not mean it cannot be developed – it’s an arable field,” he said.
In their conclusion councillors also highlighted concerns over parking issues, flooding and how protected species could be affected.
Antony Spilman, who was speaking on behalf of residents, said: “It’s our conclusion that any benefits of the development with this being on a controversial site would be outweighed by its detrimental impact.”