Café and store plans held up by highways objection

Images of the new development proposed for Ufford

Images of the new development proposed for Ufford - Credit: Landex

Highways officers' concerns are delaying a decision on plans to build a new convenience store, café and business units on the edge of a Suffolk village.

Applicants Landex Limited want to create 60 to 100 jobs by demolishing the former Crown Nursery on High Street, Ufford, and replacing it with a new café, shop and 11 business units, and car parking for 116 cars.

But both Ufford Parish Council and Pettistree Parish Council have objected to the proposals, and Suffolk County Council's (SCC) highways department has issued a "holding objection".

Samantha Bye, senior transport planning engineer at the county, said the authority could not make a comment at present due to a lack of information to make an informed decision.

She said: "The highway authority would recommend a holding objection until the information has been submitted. The Transport Assessment (TA) includes a few assumptions based on traffic data taken in April 2021.

"At this time we are not accepting vehicle trip data in the usual way due to Covid 19. Some data is being accepted if an uplift factor is applied and this is pre agreed with SCC."

She said the assumptions made in the TA could not yet be accepted based on the current data and so the application had not been "fully demonstrated to be safe for all users".

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Ufford Parish Council said it "strongly objects" and does not believe there is a need for the development.

It says: "As we have seen, there are many business units within a few miles radius of Ufford, unoccupied, and in more sustainable locations with better transport links, and nearer to other facilities. The site chosen in Ufford is not a suitable location for eleven office-based business units.

"With greater emphasis on working-from-home, the need for this kind of development is at best unproven."

The site was for more than five decades wooded and rural and used for horticulture. Part has recently been developed with 34 homes and the latest plan would utilise another chunk of the site.

The developers hope the new business units will provide jobs for the local area

The developers hope the new business units will provide jobs for the local area - Credit: Landex

Pettistree Parish Council is worried about the impact that this proposed development will have on traffic using the B1438, the village link to the A12, likely to be exacerbated by plans for new homes and Sizewell C traffic.

Artisan Planning and Development, for Landex, said the aim was to reuse employment land for uses which will happily co-exist with residential properties and in rural areas.

It said: "In addition, a café and convenience shop are proposed which will bring with them other forms of employment as well as a significant contribution to social interaction and health and well-being in the village and wider area.

"Whilst the submission scheme will no doubt not be supported by everybody, the applicant
believes that it will make a genuine contribution to the viability and vitality of this village and
bring with it a wide range of sustainable community and environmental benefits."