Cedars Park development is recommended for approval by planning officers

Mid Suffolk District Council offices in Needham Market.

Mid Suffolk District Council offices in Needham Market. - Credit: Archant

A local authority’s planning team has recommended approving plans to build nearly 100 homes on an area of land that has been described as being of “high biodiversity value”.

Crest Nicholson Eastern, the main developer of the Cedars Park estate in Stowmarket, has applied to add 97 homes to the community, phase 6c, between Wagtail Drive, Elizabeth Way and the Old Stowupland Road.

Planning officers at Mid Suffolk District Council have recommended approval of the development, which is the final phase, subject to conditions.

The developers had originally published plans for 99 homes on the site, before increasing it to 102 and then reducing it to 97.

The reduction of homes was put forward to extend the proposed public open space.

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The site is designated in the Stowmarket Area Action Plan as having high levels of biodiversity. The homes will be made up of one-bedroom flats, two-bedroom flats, two-bedroom houses, three-bedroom houses and houses with four or more bedrooms.

During the consultation period, Stowmarket Town Council, on the district council’s planning pages, said: “The town council wishes to express, in the strongest terms, disappointment with this application which, in its view, represents over-development of the site.”

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In the report by planning officers, the town council adds that the development is contrary to planning policies and that there were concerns over the additional pressures on infrastructure the new homes would have.

In response, a spokeswoman for Crest Nicholson said: “In terms of their objection based on ‘over-development’, the proposed scheme’s density is in fact lower than the average density across the existing development.”

The contributions recommended by planning officers include a £72,750 contribution towards the provision of free travel for students who live at the Site to Trinity Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School and £100,000 towards the provision of additional educational facilities at the school, in order to provide more places to accommodate pupils living on the development.

A secondary education contribution of £353,139 for additional educational facilities at Stowupland High School is also recommended, along with a library contribution of £20,952, and £200,000 for a multi-use games area. The recommendation also reports that 21.6% of the housing would be affordable – which amounts to 21 homes.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s Planning Committee ‘B’ will meet at its Needham Market offices at 9.30am on January 20, when a final decision is expected.

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