Controversial homes project for Easton set to go-ahead after developer revises plans

A project to create new homes in a village and provide its school with a new car park looks set to go ahead.

Controversial previous plans for the land next to Easton Primary School, The Street, Easton, were withdrawn but applicants, Hopkins and Moore, have tried to overcome a range of concerns raised by residents with their revised scheme.

Despite continued objections, Suffolk Coastal planning officers are now recommending councillors approve the project on January 7.

The scheme will see ten open market homes and four affordable properties built, together with garages, access road, parking, 35-space school car park and drop-off zone, an extension to school grounds, footpath, fencing, landscaping and other works.

In a report to the north area development management sub committee recommending approval, case officer Ben Woolnough said the land had been identified as a preferred housing site.

He said: “The site is considered to be in a sustainable location, abutting a Local Service Centre with adequate services to support additional housing growth to meet the five-year land supply.

“It is considered that there would be a degree of harm to heritage assets and the setting of the adjacent Conservation Area. However, this would not amount to substantial harm and based on a careful balance, weight has been given to this proposal on the basis of its supply of housing, including affordable housing, community benefits and the sustainability merits of the site.”

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The district council has received 44 objections from residents, and also from Easton Parish Council, which had a range of concerns, including the impact on the character of Easton and felt the development would “completely alter the view on approach to the village especially from the south-east and east”.

English Heritage had also expressed deep concern over the impact on the village’s Conservation Area.

Parish councillors felt the design of the proposed houses wasn’t in keeping with the architectural mix of the village, there would be overlooking problems, the risk of water run-off putting additional pressure on the sewerage and drainage systems and causing flooding, and fears over potential light pollution.

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