Developers lose appeal against refusal to build nine homes in village

Suffolk Coastal District Council's headquarters, in Melton. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Suffolk Coastal District Council's headquarters, in Melton. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Refusal to allow developers permission to build nine new homes in a Suffolk village has been upheld by the government.

A planning inspector threw out an appeal by Briarley Homes and Wrentham Farms against Suffolk Coastal District Council’s decision to reject an application to develop land off Lodge Road, Ufford, near Woodbridge.

A hearing was held by a government appointed planning inspector last November, following the district council’s decision earlier in the year.

The original application comprised detached and semi-detached properties, including three affordable homes, with mortgages below market levels, and associated parking, landscaping, open space and an extended access road.

As in the case of several recent planning appeals, the developers argued that the council had underestimated its required five-year housing land supply and should have presumed in favour of the proposal.

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The planning inspector agreed that, if the housing supply figure was out-of-date, less weight should have been given to other planning policies – but said the adverse impacts of granting permission for the Ufford homes would “significantly and demonstrably” outweigh the benefit of providing housing.

Suffolk Coastal refused the development based on its proposed location on an attractive and open area of land outside of the defined physical limits of the village.

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It said development would “destroy” the character of an attractive meadowland setting for the village, and that Ufford had already contributed significantly to the council’s housing land supply, following consent for 34 new homes on the Crown Nursery site.

It said developing an open site, detached from the existing built up area, where there was no local support, would be contrary to policy in the Local Plan.

The inspector agreed the new homes would have a harmful effect on the character and appearance of the area.

Ufford Parish Council called the decision “excellent news in the fight against over development of Ufford and the loss of vital wildlife habitats”.

Briarley Homes and Wrentham Farms’ application for costs of the appeal against Suffolk Coastal was also refused by the planning inspector.

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