Bury St Edmunds: Go ahead for controversial homes

West Suffolk House in Bury which is home to St Edmundsbury Borough Council

West Suffolk House in Bury which is home to St Edmundsbury Borough Council - Credit: Archant

TWENTY-nine affordable homes will be built on a former town centre car park, despite fears about overcrowding and traffic chaos.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Development Control Committee yesterday backed proposals for the development in School Yard, off Risbygate Street, in Bury St Edmunds.

The Havebury Housing Partnership project, which will consist of 17 one bedroom flats and 12 two-bedroom flats, must now be completed by March 2015 to be eligible for funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Councillors and residents associations had previously voiced strong objections to the proposals.

Ward member Paul Farmer, said a failure to include parking spaces in the scheme would create “chaos” in the surrounding area.

He added: “Many of the 72 occupants are likely to be able to run cars, some because they work well away from home. There is nowhere provided for them or their visitors to park, and this will cause chaos, further illegal parking, and misuse of the Nelson Road permit scheme.”

But documents discussed by planners, state there will be 21 spaces for residents to park their bikes.

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A council officer said: “It is considered to be a highly sustainable location where transport by modes other than the private car should be encouraged. In such a location, where residents car walk, cycle and have convenient access to public transport, car ownership is not essential.”

Objections from people lviing in Nelson Road and the resident’s association were also dismissed by officials, who said the u-shaped block would not “result in an unacceptable level of overbearing or dominating impact” as it would be about 15 to 20m away.

David Nettleton, whose ward includes part of Risbygate Street, had asked for the scheme to be approved. He added: “I’m delighted that the members of the development control committee supported the scheme and were very helpful generally to Havebury Housing because they didn’t want them to lose Government funding to get this much needed affordable housing in place.”

Karen Mayhew, Chief Executive at Havebury Housing Partnership said: “Havebury is committed to providing much needed affordable homes for those in housing need and this development of one and two bedroom homes will go some way to doing this. We are particularly short of town centre properties and this scheme may encourage tenants who are currently under occupying larger homes to move. Havebury anticipates the new homes in Risbygate Street being complete by December 2014.”