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Early talks underway for 1,300 homes, primary school, GP and civic centre on land off Bell Lane, Kesgrave

PUBLISHED: 20:53 08 January 2018 | UPDATED: 20:53 08 January 2018

Long Strops in Kesgrave closed permanently in October 2016, and is an area for development. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Long Strops in Kesgrave closed permanently in October 2016, and is an area for development. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A patch of land in Kesgrave which is being eyed for development could be in for as many as 1,300 homes as well as a new school, GP surgery and civic centre.

The land at Bell Lane, Kesgrave, which is the subject of negotiations to assemble a site capable of taking around 300 homes. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe land at Bell Lane, Kesgrave, which is the subject of negotiations to assemble a site capable of taking around 300 homes. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Turnberry, consultants on behalf of landowners Grainger PLC, gave a presentation to Kesgrave Town Council’s planning committee tonight, in which early intentions to develop land off Bell Lane and Foxhall Road were sounded.

The proposals aim to discuss with the community what infrastructure is needed for the town, which will be incorporated alongside 1,300 new homes, on the site from Long Strops down to Foxhall Road.

Already identified are a new primary school, GP provision, a new bus route and work to turn the former US listening base into a civic centre.

Chris Pattison from Turnberry said: “We are looking at sustainable questions.

“What we are trying to do is understand what the local gaps are in infrastructure and how our site can possibly address them.”

While talks are at an early stage, Turnberry confirmed it was already speaking to the local authority over school provision, and aimed to have more discussions with the town council, neighbourhood groups and the NHS among others to develop a more concrete proposal.

Currently a proposal by Persimmon for a portion of the site is underway, which is based on a historic option the firm has with Grainger on the land.

It is due to go before a planning inquiry in due course after the findings of the previous planning inquiry last year were found to have had errors.

The proposals by Turnberry remain an entirely separate plan.

It is understood that a more detailed consultation will get underway over the next six months, with a more definitive plan expected in the Autumn.

Over the last 15 years around 3,500 homes have been developed in the town, which is now understood to be the eighth largest in Suffolk in terms of population.

Town councillor Kevin Archer said that secondary school provision would also be needed, while one member of the public said that Kesgrave had “had enough of housing” and wanted infrastructure improvements.

Mr Pattison added that the development of Kesgrave had been “haphazard” and said its plans would look to engage the community more.

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David Vincent

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EADT writer David Vincent has more than 40 years experience in Suffolk. He has explored the highways and byeways of East Anglia, meeting homeowners, developers and estate agents from Bury St Edmunds to Aldeburgh and Colchester to Diss.

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