Delayed Bacton Middle School homes plan set for approval

Bacton Middle School is set to be developed by Suffolk County Council into 50 homes and 3G football

Bacton Middle School is set to be developed by Suffolk County Council into 50 homes and 3G football pitches Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

Plans to build 50 homes on a former middle school site are set to progress, following delays earlier in the year.

Suffolk County Council submitted a planning application to Mid Suffolk District Council to develop the former Bacton Middle School in Wyverstone Road into 50 homes and 3G football pitches.

Mid Suffolk’s development control committee last looked at the proposals in April, but deferred a decision for more details on the application’s viability and affordable housing.

The committee is set to decide on the plans next week, where it is recommended that outline planning permission be granted by the head of planning once S106 payments – those made for roads and infrastructure upgrades – have been arranged.

A county council spokesman said: “This application provides an opportunity for the county council to future proof primary education in Bacton village by retaining land for a new primary school if this is needed.

“If the application is determined it will also provide an excellent all year round sporting facility as well as generating a capital receipt for the education budget.

“We have worked very closely with Bacton and Wyverstone parish councils on this scheme to ensure it reflects the needs of the growing community and we very much hope that the committee will consider the application positively.”

The development is set to feature 20% affordable homes, according to the planning officers’ report.

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A series of amendments were made following the consultation, with the nearby parish councils, Historic England and Sport England now broadly in support of the development.

Planning officers recognised that the proposals were outside the settlement boundary for Bacton, which went against the local plan, but said that the sustainable nature of the development meant it was “not considered that the proposal is unacceptable in principle such as to warrant refusal”.

If outline permission is granted at the committee on Wednesday next week, the county council will go away and work on the ‘reserved matters’ – those not considered by the committee next week – before returning to the council for final approval of those matters.

A timeline of when work may begin has not yet been laid out.

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