Stowmarket: Spare capacity for 200 homes in market town

Too few new homes are being built in Suffolk Coastal Too few new homes are being built in Suffolk Coastal

Matt Hunter matt.hunter@archant.co.uk
Thursday, April 10, 2014
6:00 AM

Developers could come forward to invest in a town as it still has spare capacity for 200 homes.

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Ever since campaigners were successful in saving Chilton Fields, in Stowmarket – where the homes were destined to be built – the town has had the quota available.

A total of 1,000 homes were meant to be built as part of the Chilton Leys development. But, following the Chilton Fields campaign backed by residents, the number of homes was cut to 800.

Philip Isbell, corporate manager for development management for Mid Suffolk District Council, said its planning guidance for the town, the Stowmarket Area Action Plan, may have to be revised. He said it was “important” to meet the government’s five-year land supply rule – an attempt to boost housing supply.

Mr Isbell said: “Quite clearly all the people that had land bids with the Stowmarket Area Action Plan and were unsuccessful might make an application if there is a problem with the five-year land supply.

“It may well be where we move to a situation where policy looks to be more pragmatic for applications rather than them being in the plan.”

Lesley Mayes, Stowmarket (Central) councillor, said it was crucial to maintain and boost the sporting facilities in the town which has a population of 20,000.

She said: “It’s just the fact that we were desperate to keep the playing fields for sport for Stowmarket.

“The town is desperately in need of all the proposed football pitches and pitches for various games. Stowmarket Town Football Club is in a desperate need for land.”

She said there were several planning applications for homes which could boost housing numbers.

By 2027 more than 1,500 homes are expected to be built in Stowmarket which is regarded as one of the fastest growing towns in East Anglia. Across Mid Suffolk some 2,625 homes could be built up to 2027, according to the Stowmarket Area Action Plan.

Last month the council agreed to the first phase of the Chilton Leys development going ahead.

Outline plans for a school and an employment site as part of the estate were also backed.

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