Decision on 95 home Mount Pleasant scheme deferred after officer advice
Campaigners have been left “outraged” after a decision on whether to allow 95 homes to be built on greenfield land in a historic market town was deferred.
Persimmon Homes is seeking planning permission for 95 properties on Mount Pleasant, Framlingham, including 31 affordable homes, at the same time that it is appealing refusal of 100 homes at the same site.
Planning officers for Suffolk Coastal District Council were recommending the scheme be approved on the basis that previous concerns of councillors on sustainability of the site, its impact on infrastructure, layout and design of the site and inadequate developer contributions had been addressed.
However, with the new plan coming at the same time that Taylor Wimpey is appealing refusal of 163-homes on Fairfield Road and Hopkins Homes’ construction of a 99-home development on Station Road, those objecting to the scheme felt that infrastructure in Framlingham would not cope.
The district council would receive more than £1m via the community infrastructure levy (CIL), however there is no guarantee that this would be spent within Framlingham.
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Mount Pleasant was included in Framlingham Town Council’s draft neighbourhood plan as its ninth preferred site for development in the town. Chairman Carolyn Youngs said that if the eight smaller but more preferred sites were instead developed it would still bring 99 homes to the town, but would allow more time to improve infrastructure and would be less imposing on the town.
Bob Snell, speaking on behalf of the Framlingham Residents Association (FRAm), said: “[Framlingham] will exceed it’s 17 year housing supply in less than half that time.
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“There’s an absence of jobs in the town and you cannot have a travel policy based on buses that do not exist.
“The council’s own policy says that brownfield sites should be pursued before greenfield sites.”
Councillor Tony Fryatt said: “We are facing a problem that’s going to recur time and time again. We are building houses and there isn’t the infrastructure to support them. We are making problems for the people in these places.”
Planning committee members yesterday voted not to support officers recommendations for approval, however before voting against the whole scheme were advised by officers to instead defer the decision.
Officer Philip Ridley said deferring would allow the council’s legal teams to provide further guidance on how any decision could impact upon the outstanding appeal for the 100 home development at Mount Pleasant, which will be heard in January.
Chairman of FRAm, Christopher Sharpe, said after the meeting: “I’m shocked and outraged that the planning committee refused this application twice, and then get brow-burned by the head of planning into deferring a decision.
“It’s almost as if they are saying ‘you haven’t made the decision that we want so we are going to keep having meetings until you do’.
“It’s so counter-intuitive that a decision in favour of this application would somehow help the appeal.”