New bid to build 120 homes near historic mansion is rejected

The Jacobean mansion at Haughley Park. Plans to build 120 homes on a nearby former poultry site have

The Jacobean mansion at Haughley Park. Plans to build 120 homes on a nearby former poultry site have been turned down. Picture: HERITAGE SNAPPER - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans for 120 homes in Haughley have been turned down by Mid Suffolk District Council, citing harm to local heritage and lack of amenities.

The council refused outline planning permission, after Amber REI Holdings applied to develop a former poultry factory site, adjacent to the listed Haughley Park Jacobean manor house, between Elmswell and Haughley.

Mid Suffolk’s chief planning officer used emergency delegated powers to refuse the project, ias regular committee meetings cannot be held due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Rachel Eburne, councillor for Haughley, Stowupland and Wetherden, said: “I am pleased to see that this proposed development has been refused. It is in completely the wrong place – with no access via public transport.

“Residents would have no option but to use their cars – whether to drive to work or to take children to school or to get to the shops.

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“It would also be highly detrimental to the historic setting of Haughley Park house, and was not supported by the parish’s Neighbourhood Plan.”

A previous application for 149 new houses on the site of the disused 2 Sisters chicken processing factory was unanimously rejected by councillors in February 2019, when they described the development as “unsustainable”.

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At that time, councillors said the homes would be too far away from amenities, forcing residents to travel by car to shops, train stations and schools.

In response to that decision, the applicant made changes to the scheme to try to address concerns, with a new application for 120 homes being lodged in May 2019.

However, the council said the new application had been rejected because continued concerns about the overall harm caused by the proposed development outweighed the potential public benefits.

It also said the plans failed to provide appropriate affordable housing to meet the council’s policies, and cited the site’s poor connectivity to necessary facilities.

The impact to the adjacent historical setting was another significant factor in the decision against the proposal.

David Burn, cabinet member for planning for Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “We want to ensure that the right properties are built in the right places in Mid Suffolk, and are currently working with local residents to identify sites for new housing.

“I support the chief planning officer’s decision that this should not be one of these sites. The amendments made to the applicant’s proposal still failed to address the harm to local heritage and the lack of nearby amenities, meaning residents would have no option but to travel by car, which is at odds with our green ambitions.”

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