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Lakenheath: Latest housing bid leaves village facing almost 1,200 new homes

PUBLISHED: 10:14 08 June 2014 | UPDATED: 10:14 08 June 2014

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Applications for major housing keep pouring in to one west Suffolk village after the latest development plans left Lakenheath facing almost 1,200 new homes.

An exhibition for 145 homes on land south of Broom Road will go on display at Lakenheath Pavilion on Wednesday, with a planning application set to follow in the coming months.

It is the fifth major development on the cards for Lakenheath, leaving it facing the prospect of 1,183 new homes – far more than the 800 Lakenheath has been earmarked for in Forest Heath’s core strategy.

However, Forest Heath’s core strategy was successfully challenged in the court by campaigners against the Hatchfield Farm development in Newmarket back in 2011.

As a result, Forest Heath’s core strategy was quashed, meaning it was unable to provide a five-year land supply for housing, which is required by the Government.

All applications to Forest Heath therefore have to be judged against the national planning policy framework (NPPF) – widely acknowledged to be in favour of developers – rather than any local strategy.

A number of applications for major development have now been lodged Forest Heath.

However, the authority is close to finalising a new core strategy – with a consultation for site-specific housing allocation across the district due to start this month.

Lakenheath Parish Council last month threatened Forest Heath with legal action just hours before an application for 67 homes off Briscoe Way was due to be determined.

Parish council vice-chairman Ian Smith said the council was aware of the possibility for another major development at the end of Broom Road, towards the air base, and renewed his calls for more strategic thinking.

“Lakenheath seems to be the place everybody wants to build,” added Mr Smith.

The new proposals from Necton Management are for a mixture of family homes, smaller homes and affordable housing. They will be on display between 3.30-7.30pm.

Other applications include one for 750 new homes, a primary school and health centre from Elveden Farms..

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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.