Martlesham Heath: Planning boss takes dim view of campaigners’ legal plea

Martlesham Heath and Adastral Park. Photo by Mike Page. Martlesham Heath and Adastral Park. Photo by Mike Page.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
6:22 PM

A district planning chief has disparaged a campaign group’s attempt to persevere with a legal fight to prevent 2,000 homes being built in Suffolk.

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No Adastral New Town (NANT) wants judges to reconsider granting an appeal against the High Court’s dismissal of its challenge of Suffolk Coastal’s core housing strategy.

The strategy was approved by the government last year and includes residential development at BT’s Adastral Park in Martlesham.

Geoff Holdcroft, the council’s head of planning shared his frustration at NANT’s request that the decision against an appeal be reconsidered at an oral hearing, despite the Court of Appeal recently turning down a written application.

But NANT hit back, saying that if the council had “properly carried out its obligations in the first place, there would have been no need for us to take the matter to court”.

Mr Holdcroft yesterday told a development committee: “This will inevitably lead to a delay in our ability to move forward with the Core Strategy to create the much-needed jobs and homes in this area, including the affordable house required by young families and low wage earners in the district.

“It is frustrating that a small number of people are continuing to seek to undermine this essential development process, but we remain confident in the rigorous process we followed in drawing up the Core Strategy.”

NANT argues the development - for which a detailed planning application has yet to be submitted - would have an adverse impact on the Deben Estuary - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Special Protection Area (SPA).

The group’s Janet Elliot said: “Councillor Holdcroft is clearly confused when he refers to a ‘small number of people’ continuing to challenge Suffolk Coastal’s reckless disregard for the internationally recognised Deben Estuary SPA. NANT is a large group of people - approximately 4,000 - from across the whole district.

“It is quite wrong to blame NANT for the present delay. If Suffolk Coastal had properly carried out its obligations in the first place there would have been no need for us to take the matter to court.”

16 comments

  • Martlesham will become a traffic no-go area, especially at peak times, utter madness, I feel sorry for the people living there now

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    john

    Friday, June 27, 2014

  • In considering that 2000 new homes is too many to absorb locally, those who complain seem to have forgotten the 3500 homes built in Kesgrave in the last 25 years. While that plan included a bypass for Kesgrave unfortunately SCC decided not to build one and frittered the developers infrastructure money on a number of different traffic light sets, most of which have been replaced or scrapped. In the same way SCC also failed to provide sufficient primary schools on the land and with the money provided. Rather than SCDC being the problem being suggested in the planning process the important thing, once final permission is granted, is to ensure SCC spend the money they are given in the way they have committed to do in providing schools and roads. Otherwise your correspondents fears will be fulfilled.

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    amsterdam81

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

  • Mr Holdcroft where are all these mythical jobs going to be? Not at BT, they've been quietly moving people out of the site for years. You have of course noticed that in order to build some of those wonderful houses they need to knock down some of the existing places of employment. Then of course there are the schools, whoopee do a new Primary.... erm it may have escaped your notice but both local High schools are also over subscribed. What about the roads? The smallest accident and the A12 is closed, so all those new cars will join the existing ones in the traffic jam that already occurs on a weekly basis. Where will all the rain water run off go? That'll be straight down into the Deben!! Noise and light pollution, diesel, petrol and oil from the roads, fumes from the stationary traffic. Not very Ecoenvironmentally friendly is it! Welcome to the proposed new Deben estuary smog zone!!

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    kevinwj

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

  • It's a real shame that nobody is considering the next generation of people, it's unfair to assume new developments are going to ruin everything - what about all the families that already live in Martlesham? Where are their kids going to live exactly if nothing else is built? I'm sure they want the same traditional values just like everyone else!

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    PinkLady

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

  • It took me two weeks to see a GP recently, the last thing this area needs is more bloody houses. The only beneficiaries will be the developers who live in secluded 5 acre pads in Surrey and their buddies running the big shops at Martlesham who would like a few more customers.

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    IanW

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

  • Councillor Holdcroft do you live anywhere near this development. I doubt it.

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    royg

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

  • I must say I am confused by the quote from NANT on two counts, one Government Inspector and two judges have said that SCDC have got it right and when did 3.2% of the population of SCDC become a large amount, you do the maths Mrs Elloitt.

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    True blue

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

  • The problems are (a) scale and (b) trust. The proposal for 2000 homes is just too huge, giving the developers maybe £100m in profit. We simply should not let them extract such sums and leave the community to pick up the tab for decades to come for the necessary extra infrastructure. Nor can we trust the council to negotiate sufficient funds from the developers (who are much smarter); and even if they did they would blow it on some ridiculous scheme (like the road hump in Sudbury that cost £90,000). The answer lies in more sensible organic development not grand schemes. But that doesn't suit the council does it? Too many applications to deal with to meet their targets.

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    Ringo

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

  • New homes are desperately needed. But where do they go? Well, not north of Woodbridge, of course. So where is the best site south of this line? Well, Adastral is more of a brownfield site, a good location and might actually included some additional infrastructure. But would mean that other developments in Kesgrave wouldn't go ahead. Which is, perhaps, the point of the protests I think. Personally, I think none of these should go ahead without a Northern Bypass, full stop.

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    paul e.

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

  • Sorry, Google obviously hasn't heard of the River Deben.

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    amsterdam81

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

  • It would be interesting to know who funds nant, they are clearly a well resourced outfit. The only people who could benefit are those landowners around Kesgrave who's development plans would be delayed by the Adastral Park scheme progressing. These objections have nothing to do with the Seven estuary, its all to do with those who will make more money if it is turned down. The best interests of local residents will be served by supporting the Adastral Park development which would pay for infrastructure improvements (roads and schools) as otherwise we will end up with other developments which would rely on the public purse to provide them.

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    amsterdam81

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

  • Martlesham Heath is going to become lost in a mass of new houses and traffic. I really don't want the build to go ahead because I will end up being stuck in traffic and unable to move effectively around the outside of Ipswich. Why is there such a need for houses in that particular location. Why can't more ghettos be built in Ipswich where I never go because it's packed with traffic and congested to high heaven. Obviously there will need to be new schools and doctors, but this will probably be done on the cheap so that the rest of us suffer with longer waiting times and kids missing out on places at the good local schools. The social housing will be a nice addition too with all the extra crime, I can't wait. I don't live on the heath, but this new town will destroy it and I feel sorry for people who have had this pushed upon them. The planning official is probably like all the others at Ipswich, completely clueless. They spend more time blocking worthy planning applications for no good reason than you would bbelieve, yet when it's their own project it gets the VIP 'queue jump treatment' and it gets given the green light no matter how bad it is. Nothing quite like having one rule for the commoners and another for those in their ivory towers is there? Go NANT I've got my fingers crossed that you can stop this abhorrence going ahead. Someone's greedy hands have likely been crossed with silver to get this through, not to mention all that lovely money in council tax to waste on other projects. It's a shame there's no transparency in democracy so that we can see what is really going on here.

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    IpswichResident

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

  • I'm gonna take a wild guess that Geoff Holdcroft dooesn't live anywhere near the area. Traffic build up at peak times is bad enough, if this goes ahead it will be beyond a nightmare. We don't have the infrastructure for this - we need better roads.

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    RachelM

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

  • There will be no adverse effect upon the River Deben - its too far away! Are NANT expecting the houses to be the same height as the BT tower? I live on Martlesham Heath and have looked at the proposal. It will impact upon me, it will result in change, but we need new homes. Simple demographics - population goes up, they need to be provided for!!! In any case the land in question has no real merit - tbh it should have been developed years ago. Re NANT - They have had their say, they have had their comments taken into account. They are wrong, simple as that....move on.

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    jerby

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

  • The clue is obvious as in the title "head of planning". "Planning" for what? Answer, planning for maximisation of council's income. The main aim of councils nationwide is to increase their own respective income so they can carry out all those grand plans of those pompous ego-inflated individuals (with some notable exceptions of course) who get elected to such exalted (ahem) positions! So going back to basics, no new development equals no increase in revenue and so new money to fund those personal projects so much desired by certain councillors. How about a radical idea....new developments which are genuinely economical and energy sustainable? That would clearly and immediately exclude new developments on greenfield sites and restrict new builds to brownfield sites where there was a sustainable way of generating energy to those new developments. Chances of that happening? Close to zero!

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    Steve Blake

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

  • Such a pity that the 'planning boss' doesn't recognise that people don't agree with the proposals and don't want it. I've realised that over the years if something doesn't quite make sense it's because we don't know all the facts - I wonder what it is that we don't know ?

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    Adrian Day

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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