Conservation officer concerns over 'infill' development

Cllr Clive Springett (Right) with residents whom he is fighting on behalf of to stop an 'infill' d

Cllr Clive Springett (right) with residents whom he is fighting on behalf of to stop an 'infill' development in green space behind homes in York Road, in a conservation area. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Concerns have been raised by the conservation department over plans for a home in green space off a "sought-after" street.

York Road residents in Bury St Edmunds are up in arms over the latest planning application for a single-storey property behind numbers 42-45, which they say would spoil a "significant" habitat for wildlife.

This leafy street near the town centre is in the Victoria Street Conservation Area - and plans for the same site by a different applicant were refused in 2019 partly over concerns that it would be "at odds" with the character of the area.

The site in question at the rear of 42 to 45 York Road, which is in a conservation area.

The site in question at the rear of 42 to 45 York Road, which is in a conservation area. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The conservation officer from West Suffolk Council has now submitted their views on the current planning application.

They recognise "great efforts" have been attempted to minimise the "visual presence" of the property, but "the siting, form and relationship with its plot would fail to respect the established and predominantly linear pattern of development of this particular part of the conservation area".

They added: "This together with the assumed and regrettable upgrade of the track would I believe fail to either preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area causing harm to its significance."

York Road in Bury St Edmunds Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

York Road in Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Google

So far 33 objections have been lodged by the public over the proposal, including Suffolk Prickles Hedgehog Rescue.


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Suffolk Prickles said the development would "ruin" what is currently a "wonderful wild habitat" and "excellent connective route" for creatures between the gardens.

Bury St Edmunds Town Council has also objected on the grounds of highways, visual amenity, overlooking and environmental impact to wildlife issues.

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Access to the site along a track is also a key worry for residents.

Residents are concerned about the access to the site.

Residents are concerned about the access to the site. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

One objector said the track currently has modest use by three vehicles and there is also pedestrian access for a handful of neighbours, but they felt the new development would cause a large rise in traffic.

They also felt there was insufficient space for on-site parking and turning of vehicles and leaving the track to enter the road would be "dangerous" due to difficulties in seeing round corners and parked vehicles.

Suffolk County Council Highways have recommended a condition that "use shall not commence" until areas are provided for manoeuvring and parking.

The design and access statement with the application concluded that the proposal would enhance the area and cause "no demonstrable harm to the CA (Conservation Area), the wider landscape and highways network".

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